Robins Altrincham FC Archived News

December 2020

31 December 2020


As we all know 2020 was a strange year and that applied to football like everything else. As the above statistics show, Altrincham completed just 33 matches in the calendar year (excluding three play-off games) compared with 51 (also excluding play-offs) in 2019.


In 2020, 52 goals were scored at an average of 1.57 per game (1.53 in league games only) compared with 2019 when 1.70 goals per game were seen (1.80 in league games only).

As for defence, marginally over a goal per game was conceded in 2020, whereas in 2019 the figure was 1.22.


In calendar year 2020, 51.5% of games were won compared with 45% the year before. That is the first time Alty have won more than half of their league games in a calendar year in the five years in question.


In the first sixteen games of last season, played in just over four months, between 23 August and 7 Dec 2019, 24 players were named in a league match squad. In 2020/21 between 3 October and 28 December, a period of just under three months, sixteen league matches were also played and 31 players were named in a league matchday squad.


On New Year's Day, Altrincham travel to Edgeley Park for their return fixture against Stockport County. The last league match at that venue between the two clubs was on Boxing Day in 2018.

Right: Ashley Hemmings in action at Stockport.

In that Vanarama National League North match, County won 2-0, their third of four wins over Alty that season. Compared with the much weaker team selected by Phil Parkinson for the recent clash between the clubs in the FA Trophy, for this league clash Altrincham fielded arguably as strong a starting eleven as available.

However, they were again without suspended striker Jordan Hulme, so Josh Hancock once more wore the number nine shirt. Also missing was injured defender Andy White, whilst James Poole was also absent as he continued his lengthy rehabilitation process. Sean Williams was brought back after injury to start in midfield in preference to Simon Richman. There was a welcome return on the bench for Ben Harrison, where he was joined by loanees Kallum Mantack and Chris Sang.

After loanee Ashley Hemmings had struck an upright in the sixth minute, Altrincham did not seriously threaten to score, with home keeper Hinchliffe largely limited to making comfortable saves from long-range efforts.

County took a 25th-minute lead, following a right-sided corner. Kirby sent a looping header towards the back post where Stott headed home from close range. The game was decided in the 52nd minute when a long ball forward by former Alty loanee Paul Turnbull was expertly taken down from the air by the foot of Frank Mulhern. The impressive Stockport striker then slotted the ball into the net, past the advancing Thompson.

Altrincham saw plenty of the ball in the second half but, with the game drifting away from them, they did not make any personnel changes till the 73rd minute when Simon Richman replaced Williams in midfield and debutant Bury loanee-striker, Chris Sant, replaced the booked midfielder, Max Harrop.

The result meant that the hosts moved above the visitors into fourth place with Alty dropping to fifth, the clubs being separated only by goal difference. Defeat ended Alty's run of nine league games without defeat. 4,549 people watched the match, (588 through the away turnstiles).S

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Tony Thompson, 2. Shaun Densmore, 3. Connor Hampson, 4. James Jones, 5. Tom Hannigan, 6. Jake Moult (c), 7. John Johnston, 8. Sean Williams, 9. Josh Hancock, 10. Max Harrop, 11. Ashley Hemmings. Subs: 12. Kallum Mantack, 14. Simon Richman, 15. Ben Harrison, 16. Chris Sang, 20. Elliot Wynne.


The Hartlepol Mail reports that "Dave Challinor believes the National League table is painting a ‘false’ picture at the moment but admits he’d much rather be in Pools’ position than that of their rivals.

Hartlepool United clinched a 1-0 win at Notts County on Monday to go second in the National League. Three straight wins over the festive period have shot Pools up from the midtable positions... Many teams have played fewer games...

Challinor said 'It’ll take a certain amount of points to win the league, a certain amount of points to get in the play-offs. At the minute, Torquay are absolutely flying and with the league champions, you’re probably looking at picking up an average of two points per game but at the moment they’re on nearly two and a half which shows they’ve had an unbelievable start.

'The play-off positions will take 70 points to get you in there. It’s not about where we are now, it’s about getting a certain amount of points come the end of the season... It’s a false table but I’d much rather be in our position playing 16 games than a team that have played nine because... the back end of the season starts to look really scary if I’m one of those clubs'".

Towards the other end of the table and the country, Dover Athletic "announce that Millwall defender Harry Ransom’s loan spell with us has been extended for another month.

The 21 year-old centre-half arrived from the Championship side in October and made his debut in the National League season opener against Notts County at Crabble.

Ransom capped an impressive first start for manager Andy Hessenthaler’s side by heading home the only goal of the game to secure the three points.

He suffered a hamstring injury early in our next game, a 4-1 defeat at Bromley, before making a comeback in the FA Trophy loss at Woking on December 19th".

Weymouth "defender Ollie Harfield believes the Terras are on the verge of turning around their unfortunate form.

Harfield played the full 90 minutes and created an assist for Cody Cooke as Weymouth were narrowly beaten 4-3 by Torquay United on Monday.

Weymouth have now lost 10 league games this season, remarkably nine by just a single goal, to occupy 22nd of 23 teams in the division...

After an impressive display against Torquay, he said, 'It was a crazy game, we knew we were up against a good side but I thought we matched them in the second half, massively. We weren’t really at the races in the first half but we came out second half and gave them a right go. Unfortunately it wasn’t to be again...

'We’ve got to look at it as if we gave one of the best teams in the league one of the best games they’ve had this season; they said that to us. (Torquay) summed up our season. We’re pushing teams really far but it’s a lack of something that we’re still trying to put our finger on. Experience? Game management? ...

'I don’t think we’re far away at all. There are so many games we’re losing by one goal. We’ve just got to rectify that.'”

Also at Weymouth, "boss Brian Stock admitted the Terras had delivered a 'fantastic performance' despite losing 4-3 to Vanarama National League leaders Torquay United...

Weymouth’s display... was outstanding, feeding off a supportive Bob Lucas Stadium crowd...

Post-match, Stock said 'Fantastic performance. Gutted? Yeah. I felt we’ve given absolutely everything. Two games in three days is hard for us. Five centre-halves (were) missing. When I look at the back four with Jack Dickson, Jake McCarthy, Calvin (Brooks) and Ollie (Harfield) and Jordan Ngalo came in at right-back, I can’t ask for any more from those individuals.

'As a team they’ve left everything on that pitch. For me, I don’t think we’ll play against a better side this year. They’re a very well organised, fit, strong and athletic side and I fully expect them to go on and win the league...

'We really put a very good side on the backfoot for quite a large part of the game. Again, a lapse in concentration right towards the end has proved costly for us...

'Obviously, we’re missing players; Ben Thomson, Corey (Jordan), Brennan (Camp) and JLS (Josh Leslie-Smith). Sean Shields failed a late fitness test. The squad’s taking shape and anyone that suffers the effects from the coronavirus it does take it out of the players and does take a long time, especially for a part-time team, to build that fitness back up'".

At FC Halifax Town "The Shaymen took a break from training to spread some seasonal cheer to residents of Happy Days at one of the most challenging times of year for the homeless.

A special delivery of hampers from the players, packed with food, snacks and treats, was made to the charity’s accommodation just in time for New Year’s Eve.

David Bosomworth of FCHT said 'The players are very aware of the challenges facing people in our community who are homeless and they wanted to help at New Year, when things can be particularly tough. Happy Days is our chosen charity for this season and we were keen to do something practical'...

Happy Days provides supported accommodation within a community setting for people who have been homeless or are at risk".

According to the Derbyshire Times, "Chesterfield are back in training ahead of their first match of 2021 as they take on Solihull Moors at the Technique Stadium on Saturday...

The Spireites squad met up for the first time on Wednesday (December 30) after a 10-day isolation period following positive Covid tests in the camp.

The regulations meant that Town had to postpone three games over the festive period and the players could not train together.

But preparations are now underway for what will be their first match in two weeks... As a result of not playing, the Blues have slipped from 15th to 18th in the National League but have played up to three games fewer than some of their rivals.

James Rowe’s men... have a seven-point cushion over third from bottom Barnet and are looking up rather than over their shoulder after a five-match unbeaten run. In fact, the Spireites are actually closer to the play-off positions with just six points separating them and seventh-placed FC Halifax Town who have played three games more.

Saturday’s opponents Solihull, who Town face in back-to-back fixtures, with the return clash taking place next Tuesday (January 5), are 14th... Like Town, the Moors have not played over the festive period and their last fixture was also on December 19".

30 December 2020


Altrincham travel to Edgeley Park on Saturday for the return fixture against Stockport County who report that on Monday "The Hatters’ first National League game at Edgeley Park in over eight weeks, and first home NL meeting with Wrexham for more than eight years, saw them end the calendar year with a welcome return to winning ways and the play-off places.

Early goals from Richie Bennett and Jordan Keane put County in early command, and made sure of the points, in spite of a more spirited performance by the visitors after half-time.

County took to the field on a wintry Bank Holiday afternoon, showing three changes from the side that had earned a point at Altrincham two days previously. Bennett, Macauley Southam-Hales and Jamie Stott were the players to return, replacing Sam Minihan and Jordan Williams, both of whom dropped to the bench, as well as Adam Thomas.

With a dozen minutes played... the Hatters’ Number Nine gave them the lead. Southam-Hales, following good work on the right, found one-time ‘Red Dragon’ Connor Jennings, whose lay-off in the area was tapped home by Bennett from close range.

On the quarter-hour mark, County’s advantage was doubled, with Keane rising to meet an in-swinging Southam-Hales corner from the left and glancing in his first goal of the season...

The Red Dragons offered little by way of firepower up front, although did have two claims for penalties waved away by Referee Steven Copeland...

Having not enjoyed a scoring chance of which to speak during the first half, the visitors began the second by spurning a golden one...

An even half saw Wrexham keep the Hatters’ defenders rather more on their toes... as County saw out with a smile on the pitch a year best forgotten off it...

Team (3-4-1-2): Hinchliffe; Keane, Hogan (Capt.), Stott; Southam-Hales (Minihan, 68), Maynard, Croasdale, Kitching; C. Jennings; Bennett (Britton, 89), Reid (Williams, 85). Unused Subs: Barnes, Gilmour. Man of the Match: Southam-Hales."


In the Championship, Duncan Watmore netted for Middlesbrough but they lost to Sheffield Wednesday. Andy Owens scored with his first touch in his first game for Chorley on Boxing Day.

In the National League North, Jack Redshaw was on the mark for York City but they lost 4-2 at Bradford (Park Avenue).


The Altrincham home game against King's Lynn Town, which had to be postponed on 5 December, as the J. Davidson Stadium pitch was waterlogged, has been rearranged for Tuesday, 12 January at 7pm.


FC Halifax Town remind us that "Martin Woods scored and played a pivotal part in FC Halifax Town’s victory over Altrincham...

'Fair play to Altrincham, they passed the ball well and played good stuff to get up the park, but our boys dug in and it was all about getting the "win" mentality. We’ll take a win anyway it comes.'. The midfielder then added what was said at half time...

'We just spoke about getting us further up the park a little bit, but I think that was the kind of the way Altrincham played, they did take control of the ball at times. But we had a lot of bodies missing, especially up front and we had boys playing there who don’t normally play there. So, that normally gets you up the park when there is a player there who holds the ball'...

Early into the second half... Woods [scored] a brilliant goal... 'I’ve been waiting for one of those for a little while... I think we’ve played against the majority of the teams now, and I don’t think there’s anything to fear for the boys... Hopefully we can finish higher than where we already are'".

Also speaking to the FC Halifax Town website was former Alty man, Jeff King [pictured, left, in his Altrincham days].

He said, 'I thought we were dominant in spells. In the second half when we scored early, I thought we sat back a little bit too much and too early. But when we did attack in numbers, we looked dangerous. Overall, with the lads having played on Saturday, this is a big win...

'From when we scored the third, we just sat in and, if the goal came a bit later, we may have pushed on more. But there were lads out there who played on Saturday, they only had a 24-hour turnaround...

'I think 2020 has seen a bit more of the real version of myself because, at the beginning of my time at Halifax, I feel like I was just getting into doing things... but I was just lacking confidence... 2020 has seen more of the real Jeff King'".

ON THIS DAY: 30 December

Altrincham's most recent game on today's date was three years ago when they travelled to Coalville Town for an EvoStik Premier match, which they won 3-0.

This was Altrincham's first ever visit to Coalville Town, who lay 12th in the league at kick-off. For Coalville, two impressive away wins, at Warrington Town and at Nantwich Town, had preceded a disappointing home defeat to Barwell on Boxing Day. That was their fifth successive home defeat in the league.

The Ravens had played more games than most clubs in the league this season but they boasted the third highest goalscoring total (43 goals in 26 matches). However, they also had the second worst number of goals conceded this season (51 goals).

Above: James Poole (10) watches his freekick put Alty 1-0 ahead at Coalville.

Altrincham went into this match in search of their fifth successive league win in an unbeaten run which had reached 15 games in the EvoStik Premier. The reverse fixture had seen Alty win 4-2 but not before Coalville had fought back from 0-2 to 2-2.

In this return fixture, Altrincham secured a third successive 3-0 league win to leave them seven points ahead of second-placed Workington (who had played two more games) and eight points clear of rivals Shaw Lane, who have three games in hand after their match today was postponed. After a disappointing first half, Alty took the lead on the stroke of half time when James Poole's curling freekick from just outside the penalty area beat keeper Coton.

The visitors dominated the second half and Jordan Hulme made it 2-0 after 72 minutes. Substitute Sean Miller nipped in ahead of Coton to nod a long ball up the middle over the keeper to complete the scoring in the 88th minute.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Tony THOMPSON, 2. Sean DENSMORE, 3. Connor HAMPSON, 4. Tom HANNIGAN, 5. Ben HARRISON, 6. Jake MOULT (c), 7. John JOHNSTON, 8. Simon RICHMAN, 9. Jordan HULME, 10. James POOLE, 11. Josh HANCOCK. Subs: 12. Tom PEERS, 14. Sean MILLER, 15. James JONES, 16. Andrew WHITE, 20. Tim DEASY


The Nottingham Post reports that "The Magpies have four players on loan but their current deals run out in early January which could leave the club with plenty of work to do in the transfer market.

Neal Ardley has said he would like to keep Notts County’s loan players for the rest of the season, but admits the decisions are out of his hands.

Deals for Barnsley’s Matty Wolfe, Mansfield’s Jimmy Knowles, Harrogate’s Tom Walker and Sheffield United’s Sam Graham all expire in early January. None of them are regular starters for Notts and should they depart it could leave the squad light... Because of their lack of their minutes, the Notts boss says there is a possibility their parent clubs may want them back...

'Greg (Abbott) will speak to their clubs and say look this is where we are... But we are going to have a busy enough back end of January, but from February onwards I think we are going to be playing Saturday, Tuesday, for five weeks running. It’s tough for two weeks, but for five weeks running is going to be really tough' said Ardley.

Ardley has confirmed the club will look to add one or two faces to the squad to help with a punishing schedule, particularly in light of Damien McCrory’s injury. The Irishman looks set to miss a large part of the second half of the season because he requires surgery on his right knee.

But Notts are expected to have Callum Roberts back in January after he underwent an operation to strengthen his stomach lining... It is unlikely there will be any activity until the club knows where it stands with their loan signings".

Also from Notts County we learn that, on Monday, "Luke Armstrong's close-range finish was enough to earn Hartlepool the three points despite our dominance at Meadow Lane.

The forward put his side ahead on 19 minutes and it proved to be an unassailable lead as several opportunities passed us by on a frustrating afternoon, with Ben Turner seeing red and Jimmy Knowles having a goal incorrectly chalked off late on.

Having seen our Boxing Day match against King's Lynn called off due to a Covid case in the opposition camp, Ardley reverted to the line-up which saw us earn an important victory over Stockport County in our previous league match. The only amendment came in midfield, where Tom Walker got the nod over the bench-bound Jim O'Brien...

It was proving to be an even start to the game... But the visitors didn’t have to wait much longer to have the ball in the net with what proved to be the decisive goal on 19 minutes, Oates beating Richard Brindley for pace in the left-hand channel and crossing the ball low into the middle for Armstrong to finish from close range...

There were no changes for either side at the break and our hearts were in our mouths shortly after the restart when a misplaced Turner pass presented Oates with a golden opportunity... Thankfully for us, he sent it well-off target...

From then on in we enjoyed near-total dominance.. Our task got even tougher when Turner was shown a straight red card for a high boot on Mason Bloomfield as he and Rawlinson attempted to deal with a bouncing ball.

But in the 89th minute we had the goal we richly deserved; at least we thought we did, but for the linesman’s flag. Knowles, on for Rodrigues, produced a fine finish after Sam had flicked on Reeves’s cross and, despite replays showing he was clearly onside, the effort was chalked off...

We had to take a disappointing and unjust defeat on the chin in our final game of 2020"

According to the Daily Echo, "Eastleigh were forced to settle for two points from their two festive fixtures after goalless draws against both Weymouth and Woking.

The Spitfires, who are now winless in five matches in all competitions, hosted the struggling Terras on Boxing Day. And they looked the most likely scorers throughout the contest...

And it was a similar story on Bank Holiday Monday. Travelling to mid-table Woking, boss Ben Strevens made a host of changes to his side but again could not find the breakthrough.

Barnett failed to work goalkeeper Craig Ross with a couple of early efforts before Danny Hollands's overhead kick teed up Cav Miley, who almost acrobatically turned in, but Ross made the stop.

The Cards came close to taking the lead after the break, with McDonnell making a brilliant double stop. At the other end Hollands had a shot cleared off the line as the spoils were shared".

In the Reader Live manager "Dean Keates described Wrexham's first half performance against Stockport County as the worst display of the season.

Wrexham ended 2020 with a 2-0 defeat against County at Edgeley Park, leaving the Reds 12th in the National League. It was a disastrous start to the contest as Wrexham conceded both goals in the opening 15 minutes and Stockport could have scored more before the break...

Keates was not happy with what he saw in the opening 45 minutes. 'It was nowhere near good enough. First half, that was the worst we have played by far this season.

'Ten minutes in the second half we were on the front foot and showed a bit of urgency, tempo and created a great opportunity to get ourselves back in the game but we didn't take it... We were throwing bodies forward... But we were leaving ourselves open at the back so they created chances...

'I am not giving anybody an excuse,' said Keates. 'One or two have not been in training for a fair bit for reasons out of our control but there is not a get out of jail card on the back end of that. It was not good enough.'"

Yeovil Town’s "2020 came to an end with a comfortable victory over Aldershot Town at Huish Park.

Eager to right the wrongs of Saturday’s defeat to Torquay, Yeovil began fast, scoring early through Courtney Duffus. It was more of the same throughout the second half as Duffus doubled his tally and Albi Skendi added a late third to secure three points for Town.

After a humbling defeat [6-1 at Torquay] on Boxing Day, Darren Sarll opted for four changes to his Yeovil Town side.

Adam Smith remained in goal for Town, but there was a return for Luke Wilkinson to the defence following his suspension. Carl Dickinson captained the side, with Max Hunt and Gabe Osho keeping their place to complete the back four. It was a diamond in midfield for Yeovil, with Charlie Lee at the base, Matt Worthington and Lawson D’Ath in front of him and Skendi furthest forward. Duffus returned to the side to partner Joe Quigley up-front.

The change in the forward line led to a bright start for Town, with Duffus causing major problems for the Shots backline...

With games coming at such a fast pace, fresh legs were vital for both sides, but it was Yeovil’s substitutions who proved more effective as Josh Neufville became a continued thorn in the Aldershot side... The task became a lot easier with the visitors reduced to ten on 86 minutes as Jermaine Anderson was shown his second yellow card...

The only blemish against Yeovil’s performance came in stoppage time as Quigley was given his marching orders for a second yellow card".

Weymouth tell us that "Despite bringing the game back from 3-1 down to 3-3, the Terras lost their last home game of 2020 to league leaders Torquay United.

Brian Stock made four changes from Boxing Day’s 0-0 draw away at Eastleigh. Josh Wakefield, Jack Dickson, Cam Murray and Christian Saydee came in to the team for Corey Jordan, Alefe Santos, Jack Hoey and Sean Shields.

Torquay blazed out of the gates with Josh Umerah having the first effort... Torquay’s constant pressure had paid dividend, opening the days scoring. Connor Lemonheigh-Evans chipped a cross towards Asa Hall who guided the ball beyond Jack Bycroft.

Torquay doubled their lead in the 24th minute... Weymouth were back into the game seven minutes later... The goalkeeper missed a chance to catch the ball and it fell to Cody Cooke at the back post who volleyed it into an empty net.

Lemonheigh-Evans continued to shine for the visitors... Aaron Nemane, the former Rangers man, had time to pick out a shot, placing it past Bycroft.

The game turned on its head again 3 minutes later. Cameron Murray’s determination saw the midfielder find his way into the box... He poked the ball through at a tight angle to grab Weymouth’s second of the day...

A penalty was awarded. Josh McQuoid stepped up to take it and smashed it to the top right of MacDonald's goal... The score was level at 3-3. Weymouth were looking the better side... The Terras again were making waves in attack...

For all of Weymouth’s determination and effort they conceded in the 87th minute. Lemonheigh-Evans tapped the ball in yards away into an open goal. Fans and players alike were appealing to the officials for an offside call... It finished 4-3".

There was an attendance of 575 home supporters.

29 December 2020


The opening goal arrived when the referee awarded Halifax a penalty for alleged handball. Summerfield hammered the spot kick into the upper reaches of the net to give his side the lead (18 mins).

On the half-hour, Alty were carved open on the Halifax right and the ball was played inside to Chadwick who scored with a firm low shot from 15 yards or so.

But Alty pulled a goal back a minute later as Kosylo got to the right byline and laid the ball into the goalmouth for Hancock to convert easily from close range. Kosylo later picked up his fifth yellow card of the league season.

Half-time was reached with the hosts still 2-1 up.

Just twenty seconds after the restart Alty conceded a third goal. Green collected a long ball on the left and fed Woods who curled the ball past Thompson.

However, substitute Dan Mooney made it 3-2, finishing smartly from a Hampson cross in the 70th minute. Despite plenty of possession Altrincham could not get an equalizer.

Match report here.


The match at Halifax on Boxing Day was Alty left-back Connor Hampson's 100th start for the club. In addition he has made fifteen appearances from the bench since arriving, initially on loan, from Stockport County on 2 November 2017

Before that he had been at Edgeley Park since February 2017, a club that he had joined from Curzon Ashton, but injury sidelined him before the end of the 2016-17 season at County. Connor had previously been at the Tameside Stadium since 2011.

His impressive performances for Alty prompted an extension of his loan period into 2018. He missed several games in the Spring of 2018 through injury before returning for the run-in where he played well at centre-back.

A broken hand kept him out of the side during August and September 2018 before he returned to be a regular starter at left-back. At the start of 2019-20 he acted as captain in the injury absence of Jake Moult but after starting the first eleven league games, a foot injury cost him his place and he was then sidelined by the good form of Shaun Densmore.

However, he reclaimed his place for the final eleven league matches and played an important role in the trio of play-off games which secured promotion.

Outside football, Connor teaches in a primary school.


FC Halifax Town report that "FC Halifax Town defeated Altrincham 3-2...

In the 13th minute, The Shaymen had a golden chance to take the lead... Earing could only put it in the north stand.

Just four minutes later and Town took the lead. A freekick from deep found Jeff King at the back post. His low cross hit the hand of an Altrincham defender and referee Rebecca Welch pointed straight to the spot. Summerfield stepped and fired perfectly into the top right corner to make it 1-0.

In the 29th minute, Halifax doubled their lead courtesy of loanee Chadwick. King threaded a great through ball to Kieran Green on the right wing. A low ball to the edge of the box found Chadwick. After beating his man, the forward fired low into the bottom corner to make put Town 2-0 up.

Less than a minute later and Altrincham pulled one back. Former Shayman Matty Kosylo did well to beat two men before pulling the ball back to Hancock on the edge of the six-yard box. The striker just about beat Sam Johnson to pull one back for the visitors.

In less than a minute after the restart Town restored the two-goal cushion. Green made a great run into the box before laying it off for Woods. The central midfielder hit it first time to curl into the far top corner.

Altrincham pulled another back in the 70th minute. A long diagonal ball into the box fell to the feet of substitute Mooney. A good first-time effort and Johnson could not get down quick enough to prevent the goal".


Torquay United manager Gary Johnson described his side's late 4-3 win at Weymouth as "a great game, and a credit to both teams, because they both played two days earlier...

“At 2-0, maybe human nature, our boys took their foot off the pedal a little a bit, but they kept going, and they had their crowd to keep them going as well... It was nice to get that goal again and make it 3-1. I thought the four goals, our three and their one, were magnificent goals, they were real text book, good quality player goals.”

The report continues, "Having seen 2-0 and 3-1 leads wiped out in what was a gripping encounter, Torquay eventually took all three points thanks to Connor Lemonheigh-Evans’ 87th minute strike...

'I made the subs for the right reasons, some you win, some you don’t, but all three played a big part. We had to move Connor forward, and a couple had to come off because they had put in a lot of energy... Gaz Warren came on and had the best 15 minutes I’ve ever seen from a sub'...

Since the side drew a blank in successive league games against King’s Lynn and Dagenham, The Gulls have registered ten goals in two matches against Yeovil and Weymouth...

'I know its 4-3 and people will say Weymouth are down there, but so are Yeovil, and they’ve just beaten Aldershot today, so there are no givens. We’ve worked hard in training to get our game back and the last two games we’ve certainly seen that'".

The Nottingham Post reports that "Luke Armstrong's first-half goal was enough to seal Hartlepool victory against Notts County as the 10-man Magpies lost further ground on league leaders Torquay United.

The Magpies fell behind when Armstrong smashed in at the back post after good work from Rhys Oates.

Ruben Rodrigues then hit the post for Notts as they tried to summon an equaliser, but their hopes of one suffered a blow when Ben Turner was sent off for a high foot on Mason Bloomfield.

Substitute Jimmy Knowles thought he had levelled when he rifled in at the back post only for it to be ruled offside".

From the Hartlepool Mail we learn that "It was a ‘hugely satisfying’ afternoon for Dave Challinor and Hartlepool United as they made it three wins from three with a 1-0 victory at Notts County.

Luke Armstrong’s fifth goal in five league games proved to be the difference...

Pools had to withstand pressure from the hosts throughout the second half...

'It’s a really difficult place to come and there were contrasting halves if you like but we got to show different attributes that you need to come here and win,' Challinor said afterwards.

'We had some good play and control in the first half and some real grit, determination and a bit of luck in the second which culminates in three massive points for us.

'It’s hugely satisfying because we threw it down to the players that what happens this afternoon could tell us a great deal whether we’ve got what is required to stay in a fight where we are in the table'".

According to the Leader Live "There wasn't much for Wrexham supporters to celebrate in 2020 and the year ended with a 2-0 defeat at Stockport County.

Wrexham narrowly avoided relegation when a 'points per game' method was used to determine the league table after a miserable 2019-20 season was ended early because of the pandemic.

The current campaign has been stop-start with games regularly being postponed due to Covid-19 outbreaks and the Reds have struggled for consistency.

The damage was done in the opening 15 minutes at Edgeley Park as the Reds found themselves 2-0 down, and it could have been more following a one-sided first half.

Keates gave fringe players a chance to impress in the FA Trophy Trophy defeat against Leamington nine days earlier but he welcomed back his regulars for the clash at Stockport.

Only Shaun Pearson, Jordan Davies, Elliott Durrell and Kwame Thomas kept their places as the Reds' boss made seven changes with Rob Lainton, Fiacre Kelleher, Theo Vassell, Reece Hall-Johnson, Luke Young, Jay Harris and Jordan Ponticelli returning to the side.

Christian Dibble, Max Cleworth, Mark Carrington, Paul Rutherford, James Horsfield, Dan Jarvis and Adi Yussuf missed out as Keates kept faith with a 3-5-3 formation".

28 December 2020


Monday 28 December 2020

And the latest club to fall victim to Covid is Sutton United, as their prospective opponents, Dover Athletic, report that "The Bank Holiday Monday National League match away to Sutton United has been postponed due to a positive COVID-19 result being returned in the "U"s' camp".

  • Barnet P-P Maidenhead United [Covid at Barnet]
  • Chesterfield P-P King's Lynn Town [Covid at Barnet and at King's Lynn]
  • Dagenham & Redbridge P-P Bromley [Covid at Bromley]
  • FC Halifax Town 3-2 Altrincham
  • Notts County 0-1 Hartlepool United
  • Stockport County 2-0 Wrexham
  • Sutton United P-P Dover Athletic [Covid at Sutton]
  • Wealdstone v Boreham Wood [match may be switched to Boreham Wood because of pitch problems at Wealdstone]
  • Weymouth 3-4 Torquay United
  • Woking 0-0 Eastleigh,
  • Yeovil Town 3-0 Aldershot Town


Today, Altrincham travel to The Shay to take on FC Halifax Town. The Shaymen are streaming the game, live, and you can purchase your ticket here.


Before the Boxing Day match at the J. Davidson Stadium the Altrincham FC Roll of Honour was read out by Rev Andrew Barclay-Watts, the Club Chaplain. This honours all those connected with the Football Club who died during 2020.

Mark Bennett of Alty TV has kindly provided a video clip of the reading of the names here and Co-chairman Bill Waterson has kindly provided the list of names commemorated.

Those commemorated were:

  • Ivan Aldridge
  • Ivan Curtis
  • Mark Eckersall
  • Mick Farrelly
  • Peter Harwood
  • George Heslop
  • Patrick Marston
  • John Maunders
  • Joan Morris
  • Enid Peers
  • Jack Pinkerton
  • Albert Quixall
  • Peter Rogers
  • Jordan Sinnott
  • James Surridge
  • Alan Thorpe


Howard Watts and the late Mike Garnett's Through the Years records remind us of previous Altrincham games played on 28 December.


Altrincham welcome back captain Jake Moult on Monday, after the midfielder served his one-match ban on Saturday for accumulating five yellow cards in the league this season.

Moult was far from being the only absentee from the squad against Stockport County on Boxing Day. The injured Andy White, Jamie McDonald, Ryan Colclough, Andy Dales, Fisayo Adarabioyo, Byron Harrison, Sean Williams and Toby Mullarkey were eight others who were also missing.

In their absence, Alty's 19th debutant in a National League squad this season, Jacob Blyth, made a brief debut as a late substitute.

Altrincham and The Shaymen have not competed in the same division since 2015-16, which was like today in the National League's top division. That season Alty were relegated with FC Haifax finishing just one place above them but avoiding the drop. A total transformation saw The Shaymen promoted the folllowing season after finishing third in 2017. Meanwhile Alty were dropping a further division into the EvoStik Premier for 2017-18.

In their three seasons in the top flight of the National League, Halifax twice finished sixteenth before finding themselves sixth at the end of the 2019-20 campaign.

Mike Garnett's records show the historical statistics of Altrincham games with FC Halifax Town...

  • At Home: P4-W1-D2-L1-F4-A4
  • Away: P5-W3-D0-L2-F13-A12
  • All: P8-W4-D2-L2-F17-A15


Monday's game at The Shay arrives well over four years since Alty's last game at National League level at The Shay. That was a 1-0 defeat in a Vanarama National League match played on Saturday, 26 March 2016, with a lunchtime kick off at 12.45pm to accommodate the BT Sport cameras' live transmission of the fixture.

Alty started the game 20th with Halifax actually below them.

Altrincham were without Marcus Holness (back) and Ryan Crowther (infection), as well as their four long-term absentees (Coburn, Marshall, Clee and Densmore). Jimmy Phillips, Alty's loanee from from Gateshead was on the bench. Sam Heathcote came in, at right-back, for his first start in six matches, so Scott Leather moved to centre-back, allowing Jordan Sinnott to play in right midfield.

Above: Damian Reeves feels the pain as Connor Hughes's freekick strikes the wall.Also seen are James Lawrie, Josh Ginnelly, Simon Richman and keeper Tim Deasy.

In the match, Altrincham threw away a potential three-point haul against a Halifax side which played with ten men from the 52nd minute following a red card. They wasted several clear chances, three of them one on ones, with Josh Ginnelly's effort which struck the post the nearest to an Alty goal. Ironically, from that incident, the depleted Shaymen went to the other end and scored.

Conditions were made difficult by a bobbly pitch and a gusty wind but the standard of play in the first half suggested that neither side was in a false position at the wrong end of the table.

The standard only improved after the 52nd minute dismissal of Bolton for bringing down Reeves as he got free just outside the box. Five minutes later Ginnelly failed to beat keeper Johnson in a one on one and ten minutes after that he beat the keeper from a similar situation but his shot trickled against the inside of the post and was cleared off the line by Hibbs.

Play immediately switched to the other end where a fine tackle by Scott Leather was followed by the ball rebounding to Hughes who slotted the ball past Tim Deasy's legs to give the ten men the lead.

Alty struggled to produce any fluent football but Damian Reeves missed a good chance in injury time, guiding Moult's pass beyond the back post. The win lifted the Yorkshiremen above Altrincham but both were to be relegated from the National League.

ALTRINCHAM): 17. Tim DEASY, 12. Sam HEATHCOTE, 6. Scott LEATHER, 5. Luca HAVERN, 3. Adam GRIFFIN, 4. Jake MOULT (capt), 8. Simon RICHMAN, 20. Jordan SINNOTT, 15. Josh GINNELLY, 7. James LAWRIE, 10. Damian REEVES. Subs: 26. James PHILLIPS, 14. Josh O'KEEFE, 9. Michael RANKINE, 23. Callum WILLIAMS, 24. Rhain DAVIS


In an Alty TV interview conducted by Brian Flynn, Alty boss Phil Parkinson discusses the draw with Stockport County on Boxing Day, a performance which the manager feels could have been better. Nevertheless he is proud of being able to match one of the title favourites.

Phil also has an update on the fitness of former Scunthorpe United winger Ryan Colclough.


Torquay United "take to the field for the last time in 2020 tomorrow, as Gary Johnson’s men make the trip to Dorset to take on Weymouth at the Bob Lucas Stadium.

Fresh from their astonishing 6-1 win over Yeovil Town at Plainmoor, Torquay will be looking to further strengthen their position at the top of the table, however they will be taking on the only other opponents in the Vanarama National League who will be able to call upon home fans to aid them in their quest for three points.

Former AFC Bournemouth, Doncaster Rovers and Burnley midfielder Brian Stock was the man tasked with taking over from Mark Molesley last August, after their previous boss left The Terras to take up the vacant role at League 2 Southend United...

Weymouth have taken some time to adjust to their new surroundings, as the team currently find themselves in 21st place, with 8 points from 13 games. An eye-catching 2-1 win over Stockport in late October, and yesterday’s goalless draw at Eastleigh is proof that Stock’s side are capable of competing with some of the most fancied sides in the division though...

Former St Mirren striker Cody Cooke joined the club in the summer, having spent the past two seasons... north of the border,... the reward for seven years of fine showings for Cornish side Truro City, with Cooke a regular scorer for his hometown club."

Boreham Wood confirm that "Due to poor weather, namely Storm Bella, we have received notification from our hosts that tomorrow’s game at Wealdstone has been cast into doubt due to surface water at Grosvenor Vale. As such... we have offered to reverse the game to be played at Meadow Park, with our pitch being in immaculate condition.

The League has thankfully, and very quickly, already given their approval and, as such, we just await Wealdstone’s agreement.

Wood Chairman Danny Hunter said 'I feel it’s not a difficult one for both clubs to organise, if we really do want the game played. The facts are we are no more than five miles apart, the match officials are already booked, both Clubs actually use the same streaming company, and both sets of players are pretty local.

'Let’s be honest here, if we are to finish this season or even get it past the half way point, then all Clubs, Owners, Chairman, Managers and Players are going to have to be adaptable or we might as well finish the season now…

'That said, I’m more than hopeful that Wealdstone, like us and like the League, will agree to this fixture reversal, as both Clubs do have a good relationship. I’m good friends with their Gaffer Dean Brennan and it’s a chance to get through another fixture... If we don’t all start acting smart, we might as well end the season now but in Wealdstone’s case I’m very hopeful that we might get something agreed'">

However, as of Sunday afternoon, Wealdstone's website was still declaring that there would be a pitch inspection at their ground at 10am on Monday.

At Woking "The players will have less than 48 hours to recover from a deeply disappointing Boxing Day defeat at local rivals Aldershot Town, with Eastleigh the visitors for a lunchtime kick-off at the Laithwaite Community Stadium, in front of the BT Sport cameras.

It was a surreal afternoon in Hampshire on Saturday as, after dominating the opening half an hour, the Cards were undone by three goals in less than ten minutes. Whilst the opener had more than a hint of controversy, after the linesman’s offside flag was overruled by the referee in the middle, manager Alan Dowson will be furious that his players allowed two more quickfire goals to follow, whilst they were undoubtedly still stewing on the first.

He will no doubt be equally disappointed that his side were only rarely able to threaten after the half-time break as the Shots secured a comfortable victory. The Cards will have a chance to reclaim the local bragging rights next Saturday, but for now, must focus on the challenge of another Hampshire-based side.

Eastleigh are currently in a somewhat misleading 14th place in the National League, two points behind the Cards, but with three games in hand... Their recent form is indifferent however, they’re without a win in four games in all competitions...

The Cards will welcome back defender Jack Cook who has now served his one-match league ban for accumulating five yellow cards. Fellow centre-back Ben Gerring and midfielder Max Kretzschmar remain suspended".

27 December 2020


On Monday, Altrincham travel to The Shay to take on FC Halifax Town. The Shaymen are streaming the game, live, and you can purchase your ticket here.


With Jake Moult suspended and Andy White, Jamie McDonald, Ryan Colclough, Andy Dales, Fisayo Adarabioyo, Byron Harrison, Sean Williams and Toby Mullarkey all missing, injured, the good news before kick-off was that Dan Mooney had returned to take a place on the bench. County had John Rooney and Ash Palmer suspended.

The visitors started the game the better side but, following a Stockport corner, Alty counter-attacked with Kosylo advancing up the middle. He fed Ceesay, to his left and the wingman slotted the ball through Hinchliffe's legs to give Alty a 24th minute lead which they retained at the interval.

County had the better of the second half and, from one of a number of corners, Jennings flicked the ball into the net at the near post, in the 82nd minute, for a deserved equalizer.

Match report here.


In advance of the game on Boxing Day, Altrincham signed Jacob Blyth, an ex-Macclesfield Town forward. He was named on the bench against Stockport County and came on as a very late substitute.

Before joining The Silkmen, 28 year-old Blyth was previously at Barrow (2018-19) and Motherwell. That was after four years with Leicester City from which club he had loan spells with Burton Albion, Notts County, Northampton Town, Cambridge United and Blackpool.

His early career was at hometown Nuneaton Griff and then Bedworth United, the club where Alty legend Dickie Landon started.


After the draw at the J. Davidson Stadium on Boxing Day, Stockport County reported that "The Hatters’ final, and most local, away game of 2020 saw them return... from Altrincham with a point, after two disappointing National League defeats on the road in succession.

Connor Jennings’s equaliser nine minutes from time secured the draw that their efforts more than merited, after they had gone behind midway through the first half.

County took to the field on a mild Boxing Day afternoon showing three changes from the side that had suffered a two-player deficit and a four-goal defeat at Hartlepool, with the pair of suspended Hatters, Ash Palmer and John Rooney, as well as Richie Bennett (who was named among the substitutes) being replaced by Jennings, Lois Maynard and Adam Thomas...

Around the half’s mid-point, the hosts broke after clearing a County corner to fashion their first opportunity, as Tom Peers, from the left, squared for Josh Hancock to curl his shot past the left post. A couple of minutes later, they repeated the feat but this time went one better, with Kosylo playing on the counter and feeding Yusifu Ceesay, who ran on to the ball from the left to slot past Ben Hinchliffe and give Alty the lead...

Upon the resumption, County, having been on the front foot for significant spells in the first half, opened the second in similar vein... County proceeded to dominate in both attack and the corner-count, but without finding the net.

But with fewer than 10 minutes remaining, the Hatters got the goal they deserved, as Jennings... stole in at the near post to flick home a corner from the right by substitute Macauley Southam-Hales".


Altrincham travel to The Shay on Monday to play FC Halifax Town. The Halifax Courier tells us that on Saturday "FC Halifax Town boss Pete Wild said his side didn't play the conditions as well as they should have after they lost 3-1 at Hartlepool on a blustery Boxing Day in the north east.

Second-half goals from Rhys Oates and Mason Bloomfield condemned Town to defeat after [ex-Alty loanee] Nyal Bell's dismissal.

Billy Chadwick's second goal in three games had brought Town level after Ryan Johnson's early opener.

'The weather was very much a leveller, their first goal comes from us not dealing with the wind and the swirl, and unfortunately he gets the better of Greeny at the far post,' said the Town boss.

'But then we get back in the game and I thought for the majority of the first-half we were by far the better side. We felt second-half we were going to come out and dominate, but we didn't play the conditions as well as we should have.

'There was nothing in the game, but he (Oates) gets down the side of us and makes it 2-1... The third goal we're chasing the game anyway... I don't think we created enough second-half to hurt them enough...

'But yet again, it's another embarrassing decision from an official that's cost us. I've said to Nyal that his first yellow is poor because he kicks the ball away, and he shouldn't do that but, for the second one, I'll back him all the way.

'The ref's given us a free kick but he decides to send him off. The decision just doesn't make sense'...

Wild is hoping both Neill Byrne and Jamie Allen will return for Monday's game with Altrincham after missing the Hartlepool match through injury.

Wild will welcome [ex-Alty man] Jeff King back from suspension, but will be without Bell after his red card.

'We came here threadbare, with 16 left and a kid on the bench,' he said."


According to the Kent Messenger, "Dover missed a penalty and had a player sent-off as they lost to Dagenham on Boxing Day.

Whites, who remain rooted to the foot of the National League, had to play nearly an hour with 10 men after Josh Passley was shown a red card for a foul on Darren McQueen.

They then fell behind to another set-piece goal within two minutes of the restart after Dover were caught napping at a free-kick.

And to make matters even worse for Andy Hessenthaler’s men, striker Ade Azeez had a second-half penalty saved by visiting keeper Elliot Justham.

Dover more than held their own in the opening half-hour... [and] looked a threat on the counter with the pace of Azeez and Akheem Rose.

Indeed, Dagenham picked up two yellow cards for cynical fouls on Rose and that figure had risen to four... by half-time as referee James Durkin took a dim view of a robust visiting side...

The game took an ominous turn for Dover on 36 minutes when Passley went in high on McQueen and, with Dagenham players rushing to surround the referee, it was no surprise that a red card was produced, the third in the last three league games for Dover. The breakthrough came little more than a minute into the second half... [A] deep cross was headed in at the far post by the unmarked Angelo Balanta...

A needless challenge by Liam Gordon... gifted Dover a penalty when he took out Azeez. But Azeez casually walked up to the ball and his weak right-foot spot-kick was pushed around the post for a corner by Justham".

Weymouth tell us that "Weymouth held on for precious away point at Eastleigh in a disappointing 0-0 draw at the Silverlake Stadium.

Eastleigh skipper Joe Partington had hit the post in the fifth minute, while Weymouth striker Cody Cooke saw two half-chances slip away.

Home striker Ben House was guilty of missing two fabulous chances as, despite late pressure, the hosts had to settle for a point against a determined Weymouth side that bore two changes... Boss Brian Stock, who celebrated his birthday on Christmas Eve, recalled goalkeeper Jack Bycroft for Gerard Benfield, while Zaid Al-Hussaini was absent from the squad completely.

Winger Sean Shields shook off a hamstring injury to reclaim his starting spot.

Weymouth named an entirely new bench as Benfield was joined by Brennan Camp and Cameron Murray after respective hamstring and concussion troubles, while Josh Wakefield returned from suspension and a calf strain.

New striker Christian Saydee, signed on a youth loan from Bournemouth, claimed the final seat in the dugout".

We learn from the Maidenhead Advertiser that "Maidenhead United wrapped up the year with a 4-0 thumping against high-flying Wealdstone at York Road on Boxing Day...

Ryan Upward (4’) gave Maidenhead an early lead before Josh Coley (37’) doubled the hosts’ advantage with a composed finish minutes before half time. Danilo Orsi-Dadomo (47’) put the Magpies three goals to the good two minutes after the break and Nathan Blissett (52') made it four, five minutes later.

Down the other end, Taye Ashby-Hammond pulled off a series of strong saves to ensure his side would conclude the match untainted...

Devonshire made three changes to the starting XI from last weekend’s disappointing defeat to Weymouth in the FA Trophy. Taye Ashby-Hammond replaced Josh Oluwayemi between the sticks, while Ryan Upward and Alex Addai traded places with Rohan Ince and Sam Barratt".

Torquay United say that "manager Gary Johnson was understandably delighted after seeing his side produce an outstanding performance on Boxing Day, as they beat West Country rivals Yeovil Town 6-1 at Plainmoor.

'I thought the boys were magnificent today,' began Johnson. 'They’re not any mugs, Yeovil, and we’ve got to play them in a week’s time, so you have to be a little bit humble in victory where you can, but it was a fantastic result, some great goals and it was nice to get six. We’ve been threatening it a few times...

'It’s lovely to get another six goals and keep us well ahead in goal difference, because that’s an extra point if you’re still ahead at the end. It means we are getting more people into danger areas, more people that are finding them in danger areas'...

First half injuries to Armani Little and Danny Wright may have taken a little shine off an otherwise superb day at the office...

'At the time Wrighty and Armnani were causing havoc, but we’ve kept on scoring goals so that was good'...

The Gaffer... acknowledged the support his side received from both inside Plainmoor, and also from those watching on at home... 'It was good that the 1300 or so that were here to support us were able to see it live, that was nice'".

Aldershot Town reflect on "A belated Christmas present on Boxing Day as a Harrison Panayiotou finish and Jermaine Anderson brace give Aldershot Town the bragging rights against fierce rivals Woking...

It was Aldershot Town who got the advantage first through Harrison Panayiotou’s finish after a clever free-kick before Jermaine Anderson scored two goals in quick succession, grabbing his first two goals for the club.

Looking to build from Saturday’s win against Welwyn Garden City, Danny Searle made five changes to the starting line-up.

Brad James, George Fowler, Mo Bettamer, Harrison Panayiotou and Giles Phillips came in for Mitch Walker, Killian Colombie, Mike Fondop, Joel Nouble and Alex Finney. Anderson earned his first league start for Aldershot Town with Kodi Lyons-Foster remaining on the bench...

Out of nothing, Aldershot Town took the lead through Panayiotou... Moments later, the Shots doubled their lead with Anderson grabbing his first goal for Aldershot Town in his first league start for the club...

Anderson was having the game of his life and he grabbed a brace shortly after to make it three goals to nil in the opening 40 minutes...

Woking still struggled to create much after the interval and they made a double change before the hour mark with Matt Jarvis and Dave Tarpey coming on for Slavi Spasov and Ben Dempsey".

26 December 2020


Boxing Day: Saturday, 12 December 2020
  • Aldershot Town 3-0 Woking
  • Altrincham 1-1 Stockport County
  • Boreham Wood P-P Barnet (Covid at Barnet)
  • Bromley P-P Sutton United (Covid at Bromley)
  • Dover Athletic v Dagenham & Redbridge k.o. 5.20pm
  • Eastleigh 0-0 Weymouth
  • Hartlepool United 3-1 FC Halifax Town
  • King's Lynn Town P-P Notts County (Covid at King's Lynn}
  • Maidenhead United 4-0 Wealdstone
  • Solihull Moors P-P Chesterfield (Covid at Chesterfield)
  • Torquay United 6-1 Yeovil Town


Altrincham FC co-chairman, Bill Waterson, writes, "At the end of every year we announce those Alty fans and former players who have been taken from us. And in recent years the list has included some of our very best. 2020 has been no exception. But we want to make sure we have all the names of those who have left us this year. So please contact me through the club's official website if you have a name you want to make sure is included in the Roll of Honour on Boxing Day".


Altrincham entertain Stockport County tomorrow (Boxing Day) with the action being streamed by Alty TV. Details of the streaming service are here.

Alternatively, the match will be broadcast by Radio Robins.


The Boxing Day schedule has been badly hit by Covid-related postponements, as well as by the demise of Macclesfield Town which leaves Wrexham with just one fixture on the three matchdays in the Christmas period.

The latest match off is at King's Lynn, whose planned opponents, Notts County report that "Our festive fixtures against King’s Lynn Town have both been postponed due to a Covid case in our opponents’ camp... A positive Covid test for a member of King’s Lynn’s management staff means all who travelled to their FA Trophy fixture against Alfreton on Tuesday night must now self-isolate for 10 days".

ON THIS DAY: 26 December

It was a very different world last Boxing Day, in 2019. Altrincham were in the Vanarama National League North and travelled to the Tameside Stadium where they beat Curzon Ashton 1-0. Both teams had enjoyed good recent runs only to lapse into indifferent form recently. The Nash had won four and drawn one in a sequence of five fixtures straddling mid-November and December. But they had lost their two most recent fixtures, including a 3-0 reverse at Brackley the previous Saturday.

Meanwhile, after a run of ten undefeated matches, Altrincham were looking to end a run of six games in all competitions without a win. THowever, they had only lost once in the league since mid-September, a run of six games.

John Johnston had recovered from his hamstring problem to start, with loanee Ethan Walker dropping to the bench, where he displaced Simon Richman.

For The Nash, ex-Alty man Sean Miller had been enjoying a good season and he, too, started.

After a first half in which Altrincham were the better side but had spurned several chances, the second half started in similar vein. Josh Hancock had missed the best chance of the first half, firing off target.

In the second half Tom Peers had a couple of decent chances, firing wide from the first, and clearing the bar from the second. But, a minute or so after the latter chance, he firmly headed home an impressive cross from Shaun Densmore to put Altrincham ahead (75 mins).

Altrincham continued to have the better of things and saw out the game relatively comfortably for their first away win in the league that season.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Tony THOMPSON, 2. Shaun DENSMORE, 3. Andy WHITE, 4. James JONES, 5. Tom HANNIGAN, 6. Jake MOULT (c), 7. John JOHNSTON, 8. Sean WILLIAMS, 9. Jordan HULME, 10. Josh HANCOCK, 11. Tom PEERS. Subs: 12. Max HARROP, 14. Luke WALL, 15. Ethan WALKER, 16. Toby MULLARKEY, 17. Connor HAMPSON


Howard Watts and the late Mike Garnett's Through the Years records for Boxing Day have been updated and show every match played by ALtrincham on previous Boxing Days to toda.


The Hartlepool Mail reminds us that "Pools host Halifax Town at The Vic on Boxing Day... full of confidence after the midweek thrashing of Stockport County".

Manager Dave Challinor told the Mail, "'We trained Wednesday and Christmas Eve before having Christmas Day off. It’s a difficult one because we have lads up here who want to go home and spend time with their families but they’ll be spending time with each other...

'When you’re involved in football for so long, Christmas is football and it’s much easier being a player than a manager over Christmas if I’m being honest... Christmas Day, I’ll get myself back home and enjoy the day with my family then get myself back up here for Boxing Day. Christmas Day for me as a player was about getting up early, watching the kids open the presents then going to training.

'As a manager it’s a bit different but you trust them to enjoy it but not too much. It’s difficult for the lads who have families further away because they won’t be able to travel and see people so it’s a strange situatios'".

The Hartlepool Mail adds that "The back end of the 2019-20 season saw Pools surge up the National League table and into play-off contention with a run of just two defeats in 11 matches... before an ill-fated 1-0 defeat at home to relegation threatened Ebbsfleet United put a dampener on things in what would prove to be the Pools’ final home match in front of a crowd in 2020...

The cancellation [of games] saw Pools fall to 12th on a points per game basis... [a] first top half finish in any division since 2007... Several redundancies were made at Pools and its youth scholarship programme was shut down. The club turned to volunteer support as former Darlington chief executive Martin Jesper took over from the outgoing Mark Maguire.

Significant budget cuts were made across the board... Despite budget constraints, Dave Challinor was able to put together a squad who managed to win each of their opening three games...

Pools fans are probably still left thinking what could have been after a takeover attempt, understood to be from Hollywood pair Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney, was rejected by chairman Raj Singh. The duo then went on to make a successful move to take over at Wrexham... Only time will tell if it’s a bullet dodged or an opportunity missed...

After a strong start to the season, things unravelled for Pools as they were humbled 5-0 at home to Torquay United on Halloween... It marked the start of a poor run of form that would see Pools slide out of title contention and toward the familiar mid-table positions"

At the other end of the country, Yeovil Town "return to action for the first time in 18 days as Darren Sarll’s side visit Plainmoor on Boxing Day.

After enjoying a successful festive period against the Gulls last season, scoring eight goals across two fixtures, Sarll will be hoping for more fo the same this time round.

Torquay, who are managed by Yeovil Town legend Gary Johnson, currently lead the National League after a strong start but have dropped points in their last two league games...

Sarll said 'I never subscribed to the full principles of the first lockdown period with the use of zoom meetings, but we thought as a squad it was important that we used that method to try to keep the same fitness levels up and better them ahead of a mad Christmas period.

'We were with the players every day, giving them home-workouts to complete, tough home workouts may I add, so that was a way in which we could keep on top of the players instead of being on the training field all week. We tried to keep that bond within the group especially with the new players as we wanted to ensure that they continued their integration with the team, so it was a lot to do over the period but a routine that kept us all focused and motivated throughout'.

The Glovers will be without central defender Luke Wilkinson on Saturday afternoon due to a suspension. Josh Staunton is also a likely absentee due to after picking up an injury".

The Bournemouth Echo confirms that Bournemouth "youngster Christian Saydee has joined Weymouth on loan.

The striker has joined up... on a work experience loan until the end of the season. Saydee, 18, was previously on loan at Poole Town, but they have no games scheduled until at least mid-January...

Cherries' boss Eddie Howe selected him for a 2019-20 Premier League fixture at Tottenham, where he was an unused substitute...

Terras' boss Brian Stock said, 'When I found out Christian was available it ticked quite a lot of boxes... He's a very, very strong boy for his age. He can hold the ball up well'".

25 December 2020


The Alty Files website wishes all its users a Happy Christmas and thanks them for their visits throughout 2020.


The National League reports that "The Boxing Day programme never fails to whet the appetite...

Altrincham are top of the form guide and want to make life even more difficult for off-colour neighbours Stockport County...

  • Dover Athletic v Dagenham & Redbridge (Live on BT Sport from 5pm)... Dover have lost seven of their last eight matches and are bottom of the table.
  • Aldershot Town v Woking... Shots have scored just six home goals, compared to double that away from the EBB... Alan Dowson’s team have lost four from five away from home and lost this fixture last season.
  • Altrincham v Stockport County... Alty are top of the form guide with five wins from six... After four straight away wins, County have lost their last two on the road.
  • Eastleigh v Weymouth... Eastleigh have won just one in four at home and have yet to score more than twice at the Silverlake... The Terras have let in 13 goals in their last four National League matches.
  • Hartlepool United v FC Halifax Town... Pools have scored six times in two games and haven't conceded.... The Shaymen have now scored 20 goals in their last six matches in all competitions.
  • King’s Lynn Town v Notts County... Lynn have lost just one in four at the Walks but only two sides have let in more goals at home... Notts have only won once away from home since beating Sutton United in early October.
  • Maidenhead United v Wealdstone... The Magpies have taken seven points from a possible nine at York Road.... The Stones haven’t scored in their last three away games and their recent win over Weymouth was their first in six."


The National League reports that "Clubs have had to think outside the box to make sure they are still doing their bit to raise a smile.

Chesterfield’s Christmas Toy Appeal went from strength to strength... New manager James Rowe... said 'To see the amount of toys here is really amazing and it shows again what the community is about and what this club’s about... This is a fantastic initiative and I’m proud to manage this club'...

Sutton United couldn’t do their annual hospital visit... 'The players met at the ground last Friday morning, all resplendent in their Christmas sweaters, and helped to organise the presents before manager Matt Gray and Tobi Sho-Silva represented the squad in taking the gifts to the Oak Centre Children’s Ward at the Royal Marsden Hospital',the club posted. 'Sadly... they had to be left at the front door with a nurse, but we hope to organise a visit to the hospital when the current situation has eased, and will also invite some children as our guests when it is again safe to do so'...

Wrexham are another club using their time wisely to spread some festive cheer. The Welsh side have donated 500 toys to various charities, created a FoodBank collection point and launched a befriending service for those in need of support...

Maidenhead United are continuing their excellent community work from during the initial lockdown period of 2020. The Magpies continue to run their community care helpline, have raised over £20,000 in a Magpies 150 Challenge and are promoting local businesses in their town."

Yeovil Town announce that "Following two Yeovil Town players showing symptoms of COVID-19, we can now confirm that these tests were returned to the club as negative.

This means that Saturday’s Boxing Day trip to Torquay United and the fixtures following will now go ahead as planned."

Unfortunately the results of the tests did not arrive in time to prvent Yeovil Town having to withdraw from the FA Trophy in midweek.

For Woking "After ending a near five-year wait for victory at Aldershot back in October, the Cards will look to make it back-to-back wins away to their local rivals on Boxing Day, as they make the short trip to Hampshire for the first-part of a festive season double header.

Alan Dowson’s side chalked up successive wins with victory at home to Dover Athletic last Saturday, as goals from Charlie Cooper and Slavi Spasov saw the Cards come from behind to book their place in the fourth round of the FA Trophy.

The Cards have now won four of their last six games in all competitions, including an impressive 3-0 win over Hartlepool United, in their last league outing. They currently sit in eighth place in the distorted league table, with a game in hand on each of the four teams above them, but with the likes of Solihull Moors, Stockport County and Eastleigh all with games in hand below them...

Aldershot have begun to recover from their challenging start to the season and are currently in 17th place... They have lost their last two league games, coming from two goals down to draw level with Boreham Wood, before eventually losing 3-2, and surrendering a first-half lead to lose 3-1 at home to FC Halifax Town... Their only league win since mid-November came in a 2-1 home success against Dagenham & Redbridge.

Woking's Max Kretzschmar remains suspended following his red card against Hartlepool. He will also miss the game on Monday against Eastleigh. Jack Cook will serve his one-match suspension for accumulating five yellow cards, having also missed the Dover game through illness. Ben Gerring has now returned from his one-month loan with National League South side Oxford City, but is also suspended for this game, meaning Nathan Collier will likely keep his place in the centre of defence.

New signing [from King's Lynn Town] Jamar Loza will also be eyeing a start after making his latest debut for the club from the bench on Saturday."

Also at Woking "Connor Hall has signed for Chorley permanently from Woking. The striker has enjoyed a successful loan spell at the Magpies this season, notably scoring important goals in the Emirates FA Cup".

The Leader Live informs us that "Wrexham won't get their Boxing Day football-fix but Dean Keates says it will be 'all systems go' when the Reds return to league action against Stockport on Monday.

There is no game on Saturday because scheduled opponents Macclesfield were wound-up... so Wrexham, who were also due to face the Silkmen on January 2, have a reduced fixture schedule over the festive period.

'You would rather be playing but it is taken out of our hands,' said Keates...

Keates, who has switched to a 3-5-2 formation for the last two games, says the Reds will be busy working hard on the training ground ahead of Monday's trip to Edgeley Park.

'We have got a lot of time training-wise to go and eradicate the mistakes we have made over the last two games,' added Keates. 'It is a new shape we have put on them so I will look back at the two games and see where we can be better in possession going forward and anything defensively we can work on.'

Wrexham came from behind to win 3-2 in their last league game against Weymouth but Keates made wholesale changes for Saturday's FA Trophy third round tie with Leamington and the Reds lost 6-5 on penalties after playing out a goalless draw...

'I am not playing the Trophy down at all but I believe the team out there was more than capable of getting through,' added Keates... 'We had a couple of half opportunities but we didn't take them which seems to be the story of the season so far... The club has always been about the league so it is all systems go and look forward to that, and build on the back end of the Weymouth result.'"

From the Hartlepool Mail we learn that "Former Newcastle United defender Jamie Sterry... enjoyed a perfect start to his Hartlepool United career with a clean sheet in a 4-0 win over nine man Stockport County on Tuesday night.

The former Newcastle United defender slotted in at right-back despite training just a handful of times ahead of the game... Goals from Rhys Oates, Ryan Johnson and a Luke Armstrong brace saw the side pick up their biggest home win in three years... with manager Dave Challinor praising Sterry’s impact on his debut, though the Pools boss fears the defender’s time at the club could be short-lived with the EFL transfer window set to open next month...

'We have to be realistic and say that it’s a short term fix for us because he has ambitions to play in the Football League which I totally get. He had some interest from League One in the summer and he wants to be at that level or pushing to play in the Championship. I get it’s just about him playing games and us providing him with a platform to go and show what he can do.

'Hopefully he will enjoy his time here and realise that we want to keep him and he can be part of something here'...

The 25-year-old made 12 appearances for Newcastle over five years while also having brief EFL loan spells at Coventry City and Crewe Alexandra

'Jamie is unfortunate in the fact that he was at Newcastle for such a long time and was well liked and in and around the first team which meant it was difficult for him to go out on loan and get games,' Challinor added. 'He had a half season at Coventry but was usually around the 18th man in the squad so didn’t end up playing a lot of first team games [for Newcastle]...

'He’s local, he wants to play games and it’s going a bit into the unknown coming here but I thought he was brilliant... but he’s played very few games for the age he is. Hopefully he does really well but not too well that other people see him and want to take him because he’ll be a good addition to the group'".

Hartlepool United add that "As they take on Halifax Town on Boxing Day, this will be the second of the three jousts between the two sides after Pools were defeated on penalties by The Shaymen last Saturday in the FA Trophy. An entertaining game for the neutrals saw Halifax take a two-goal lead in 15 minutes. Pools had to fight back twice to take the game from penalties but a miss from Donaldson and Holohan settled the tie.

Since the FA Trophy, Halifax enjoyed a convincing 3-1 win over Eastleigh... 18 new signings came through the doors of the Shay Stadium during the summer with Halifax now sat in 16th in the National League... a win could take Pools up to third".

At Torquay United "Table-topping Torquay United take on Yeovil Town at home on Boxing Day, before making the relatively short visits to Weymouth on December 28th, and for the return match against The Glovers on January 2nd...

The Gulls’ boss, [Gary Johnson] is focusing on the return to Plainmoor first, where the Yellow Army will once again be in attendance...

'Their last result was a decent one at Bromley. They find themselves near the bottom of the table, but they’ll be looking to climb back up the table if they can... It’s fantastic that we are, at this moment in time, one of only two teams that can have fans in the stadium; us and Weymouth...

'We won’t take Yeovil lightly, as we know from last year. The wounded animal, at this moment in time, is dangerous, but we have to play our own game, and cope with theirs.'”

At King's Lynn Town "Boxing Day sees the visit of pre-season title favourites Notts County to The Walks.

County...currently sit 3rd in the table... Their away record is 2 wins, 2 draws and 2 defeats, scoring 5 and conceding 5. County made the promotion play-off final last season before being defeated by Harrogate Town at Wembley. Leading scorer for County is Kyle Wootton with 6...

Last weekend saw Notts progress in the FA Trophy defeating Morpeth Town 3-0 whilst Lynn progressed beating Alfreton Town 3-1 on Tuesday.

Linnets midfielder Jordan Richards will face the side where his father Pedro played almost 400 games... and where Jordan started his career.

New signing Michael Gyasi is in line to make his debut following his signing from St Ives Town. Rory McAuley, Cameron King and Sam Kelly remain doubts after recent injuries.

Lynn’s last league game saw them draw 0-0 with league leaders Torquay United, their only point in the last 3 league games."

24 December 2020


There are still three weeks till Altrincham travel to Hampshire in the FA Trophy but on Wednesday the Portsmouth News reported that Alty's hosts, Havant & Waterlooville have joined an "ever-increasing list of National League clubs forced to postpone games due to positive Covid-19 tests

Hawks have had to postpone three National League South games due to a positive Covid-19 test result among their non-playing staff. The club were forced to call off last night’s scheduled NL South trip to Welling United just a few hours before kick off after a non-playing staff member contracted the virus...

Hawks’ Boxing Day trip to Hungerford and the home game with Dorking Wanderers two days later have also been postponed.That means five league games in two months have been called off due to Covid-19, last month’s trip to Bath City being the first.

Hawks have been irregularly testing their entire playing and non-playing staff since the 2020/21 NL season began in early October, though there are no regulations to say they have to...Everyone at the club must now undergo a 10-day self-isolating period, with the players not allowed to train together until December 30.

Hawks’ next game will be at home to Eastbourne Borough on Saturday, January 2...

Hawks were already playing catch-up with the clubs in the top six, and now they will fall even further behind in the coming days. By the end of this month, they could have five games in hand on Dartford, Hungerford and Eastbourne".

And, yesterday afternoon Yeovil had to postpone their FA Trophy tie against Boreham Wood because of possible Covid cases. The match was provisionally rearranged for tonight (Wednesday) but, during Wednesday afternoon, Yeovil Town confirmed "that in line with COVID-19 safety procedures, tonight’s game against Boreham Wood has been cancelled.

Following two individuals showing symptoms of COVID-19 yesterday, they have been tested but the club have not received the results in time to fulfil this fixture.

Unfortunately, as we will not be able to fulfil the fixture, Yeovil Town will be removed from the competition".


Wealdstone "have signed attacking midfielder Matt Lench from National League South club Slough Town.

Lench will be well known to Stones fan, having previously played for the club in the first half of the 2018/19 season where he made a total of 14 appearances, scoring his only goal in the 1-0 win over Woking.

He began his career with his local club Chesham United, before moving to Hitchin Town where his goals from midfield earned him a move to Slough Town for the 2017/18 season.

He would go on to score back-to-back FA Cup hat-tricks against Kidlington and Gainsborough Trinity that took the Rebels on a memorable run to the FA Cup 2nd Round and also play a key role in promotion to the National League South later on in that season.

He joined Wealdstone in the summer of 2018 before returning to the Rebels in January 2019, where he had been a mainstay in the Rebels midfield".

Solihull Moors "are delighted to announce that duo Callum Maycock and Melis Bushaj have signed extended contracts. The latest deals will see both players remain with the club until at least May 2022.

Maycock, 23, has appeared 13 times in all competitions since joining the Moors back in the summer and impressed in a variety of roles. The midfielder has started seven games and made six substitute appearances, providing fierce competition for the likes of Kyle Storer and Stephen Gleeson, as well as those in more attacking roles.

18-year-old Bushaj only signed his first professional contract in July this year... After progressing through the club’s Football and Education programme, Bushaj has continued his development and spent time out on loan with Halesowen Town.

Manager Jimmy Shan said... 'They are both hard working individuals who go about their work quietly and are a pleasure to work with'...

Maycock said... 'I like to keep my head down and get on with it, while trying as hard as I can. It’s paid off so far and it’s time to keep going.'

Bushaj commented... 'I know I have still got a lot to prove... and I’ve got to keep listening to the coaching staff; that should get me to where I want to go.'”

At Notts County, "Neal Ardley would like to keep all of his current loanees at the club but says any extensions would need to be mutually beneficial.

Matty Wolfe, Sam Graham and Tom Walker’s loan deals all expire in January... Said Ardley 'The player’s got to want to be here and we’ve got to be happy with what they’re doing. Their attitudes are all fantastic, so I would like to keep them here, but I wouldn’t want to do that if the parent club or player was unhappy with their game time...

'There might come a point where you can’t get them game time and they realise they’re better off going back to their club. On the other hand, it might be that they’re playing regularly and their club is really happy'.

Wolfe caught the eye... at Morpeth on Saturday, his first start for the club... Said the boss,'Training with Michael Doyle, Jake Reeves and Jim O’Brien has raised his standards'".

On Tuesday night, FC Halifax Town "beat Eastleigh 3-1 in the at the Shay.

First half goals from Jamie Allen and Kieran Green and one each from Tyrone Barnett and [ex-Alty loanee] Nyal Bell in the second saw the game finish 3-1.

The Shaymen started the better of the two sides... It took just over half an hour for The Shaymen to take the lead... On the stroke of half time, Town doubled their lead...

Eastleigh pulled one back in the 52nd minute... One-on-one with the keeper, Barnett made no mistake to make it 2-1... With six minutes to go, Bell struck the winning goal to kill the game... After holding off his man and cutting inside, Bell fired a shot perfectly into the top corner to make it 3-1

Dover Athletic "confirm midfielder Ryan Hanson’s loan from League One side Hull City has been extended for another month.

The 20-year-old former Dover Boys' Grammar School student initially signed for us for a month in late November and made his debut at Kings Lynn Town on November 21st.

Hanson was sent off in that game but has now served his one-game ban and is in contention to make his home debut against Dagenham & Redbridge on Boxing Day.

The Dorset Echo reports that "Weymouth have signed Bournemouth striker Christian Saydee on a youth loan from Bournemouth.

Saydee, 18, is a promising forward who earned a taste of first-team squad action when Cherries' boss Eddie Howe selected him in the 2019/20 Premier League campaign.

In November 2019, Saydee top-scored for the Cherries' under-18s with 13 goals...

Terras' boss Brian Stock told Echosport... 'He's a very, very strong boy for his age. He can hold the ball up well. He's gone down as a youth loan as well, which is great. He's an up and coming lad, he's had quite a lot of taste of the (Cherries) first team'...

Saydee comes in after striker Shamir Mullings left the club in the wake of last week's 3-2 loss at Wrexham".

Barnet "confirm that our next two National League fixtures with Boreham Wood and Maidenhead United have been postponed, following a positive COVID case within the First Team Squad... Tthe whole First Team will now enter a mandatory self-isolation period.

This period is due to end ahead of our National League clash with Boreham Wood at The Hive London, on Jan 2nd. This now becomes the Bees next fixture..

We will now monitor all the First Team Squad and Staff members over this isolation period. Players and backroom staff will all undergo mandatory self-isolation".

Another club hit by Covid is Bromley where "Following confirmed positive Covid-19 test results within the squad, the Club has been placed into ten day isolation period with immediate effect.

The safety of our players and staff has always been at the forefront of our actions during this pandemic and, in line with Government and National League guidance, the Club will now be closed for first-team activity and staff will isolate for 10 days...

Supporters should note that our Boxing Day home fixture will be postponed, as will our two away fixtures at Dagenham & Redbridge and Sutton United."

Solihull Moors confirm that "Moors' Boxing Day clash with Chesterfield at the Stadium has been postponed...

Chesterfield’s next three fixtures have been postponed after the club was placed in full isolation with immediate effect following the news that positive Covid tests have been returned.

This means that Chesterfield cannot train, play fixtures or associate with anyone else, until the club emerges from isolation on Wednesday 30th December".


Saturday 26 December

By Wednesday evening three matches on Saturday had already been postponed (see below) whilst a fourth may be in doubt after Yeovil had to pull out of the FA Trophy in midweek because of suspected Covid at the Somerset club.

  • Aldershot Town v Woking
  • Altrincham v Stockport County
  • Boreham Wood P-P Barnet (Covid at Barnet)
  • Bromley P-P Sutton United (Covid at Bromley)
  • Dover Athletic v Dagenham & Redbridge k.o. 5.20pm
  • Eastleigh v Weymouth
  • Hartlepool United v FC Halifax Town
  • King's Lynn Town v Notts County
  • Maidenhead United v Wealdstone
  • Solihull Moors P-P Chesterfield (Covid at Chesterfield)
  • Torquay United v Yeovil Town

23 December 2090


A press release has been issued by the National League:

"BT Sport has renewed its exclusive rights to broadcast the Vanarama National League for a further three years, until the end of season 2023/24, with more games set to be broadcast than ever before.

BT Sport has been broadcasting live and exclusive coverage of English football’s fifth tier since 2013. The new deal will see matches broadcast live each week, in a regular Saturday slot.

BT Sport’s coverage, led by presenter Matt Smith, follows the regular season championship race plus the exciting end-of-season play-offs through which one team gains a second promotion place into the English Football League.

Alongside Smith are commentators Adam Summerton and Adam Virgo plus pundits including former Norwich City and Barrow striker Grant Holt, former Torquay United manager Chris Hargreaves and former Southport manager Kevin Davies. Joining them are reporters Natalie Quirk and Becky Ives.

Alongside the weekly live match coverage, the BT Sport team bring fans every goal from every National League match in the weekly Vanarama National League Highlights show.

The show is created through an innovative link between BT and students associated with selected National League clubs who receive broadcast training from BT to go on and help create the show.

Simon Green, head of BT Sport, said 'Over the past few years we’ve developed an innovative relationship with the league, including world-first 5G-enabled remote broadcasts and training local students who help create BT Sport’s National League highlights shows. The National League remain a valued partner to BT, particularly during the pandemic, in staging last season’s playoff matches and the 2020-21 season.'”"


Altrincham FC has announced that the winners in its latest Monthly Draw, for November 2020, were as follows:-
  • £500 cash | #73 | Julie Brady
  • £75 cash | #95 | Stuart Buchan
  • £25 cash | #320 | Mrs Richardson
  • Robin Polo Shirt | #174 | M. Burke
  • Replica Alty FC Shirt | #393 | Stuart Buchan
  • Alty FC Polo Shirt | #367 | D. Gibson

Congratulations to all the winners!


Tuesday 22 December

National League:

  • Hartlepool United 4-0 Stockport County
  • FC Halifax Town 3-1 Eastleigh k.o. 7pm
  • Boreham Wood P-P Weymouth
  • Dover Athletic P-P Chesterfield

Stockport had two men sent off as Hartlepool went eight places up the table and above Alty on goal difference.


Tuesday 22 December

FA Trophy Round 3:

  • Alfreton Town 1-3 King's Lynn Town
  • Boreham Wood P-P Yeovil Town [Suspected Covid at Yeovil]
  • Bromley 2-0 Hemel Hempstead Town

In late afternoon on Tuesday, Yeovil Town had to " confirm that in line with COVID-19 safety procedures, tonight’s game against Boreham Wood has been postponed.

Due to two individuals showing symptoms of COVID-19, they are currently being tested and if results return negative, the fixture will be played tomorrow [Wednesday] evening at 7:45pm.

However, if we do not receive the results in time, unfortunately we will not be able to fulfill the fixture and will be removed from the competition. In the case that either player tests positive, we will once again enter another period of self isolation.

Yeovil Town will issue a further statement in due course".


On Tuesday night Stockport County, who visit Altrincham on Boxing Day, played Hartlepool United at Victoria Park.

Stockport County report that "County fell to a heavy 4-0 defeat at Hartlepool United on Tuesday evening on a bizarre night at Victoria Park, in which The Hatters were reduced to nine men.

An early opener by former County loanee Rhys Oates gave Dave Challinor’s men the perfect start, before Ash Palmer was dismissed for a debatable high boot on Luke Armstrong.

An unfortunate Richie Bennett own goal made it two for the hosts just after half-time, before Armstrong made it three with a close-range finish and then doubled his tally in the final minute, whilst County’s John Rooney was shown a second-half red card for dissent.

Boss Jim Gannon made just one change from the side which started in a narrow defeat at Notts County last week in The Hatters’ last league outing, as Ryan Croasdale replaced Lois Maynard in the centre of the field.

Macauley Southam-Hales and Harvey Gilmour both earned a place in the matchday squad after impressing in Saturday’s FA Trophy win over Guiseley, whilst Jamie Stott returned to the squad for the first time in league action since Halloween...

County line-up: Hinchliffe; Minihan, Palmer, Hogan ©, Kitching; Keane, Rooney, Croasdale; Reid, Bennett (Southam-Hales, 62), Williams. Subs not used: Barnes, Stott, Gilmour, Britton".

Before their 4-0 thrashing at Hartlepool, County had reported that...

"Saturday’s FA Trophy victory over Guiseley at Edgeley Park was a positive reaction from Jim Gannon’s side the frustrating defeat suffered at the hands of Notts County last Tuesday, a result that left County 10th in the National League table.

The Tuesday match which was one of several games in hand we have on the sides above us.

For our hosts [Hartlepool], a penalty shootout defeat at Halifax in the Trophy on Saturday extended a pretty miserable run for them at the moment, with a 3-0 defeat at 10-man Woking in their last league fixture sinking them into the bottom half of the table in 13th...

Hartlepool are now in their fourth straight season in the National League, as their 96-year stay in the Football League came to an agonising end on the final day of the season in 2017.

After two bottom-half finishes from the Monkey-Hangers in their first years back in non-league, the side again stumbled out of the blocks last season, and a 2-1 defeat at Edgeley Park in October spelt the end for manager Craig Hignett... before the Club moved to hire former County player Dave Challinor, who had only left AFC Fylde a month earlier after eight years in charge at Mill Farm.

It was a case of slow but steady progress under Challinor... leaving them outside the play-offs on goal difference... They finished the premature season [19/20] in ninth place, three points and two places below County.

Going into this season with plenty of optimism despite the loss of top scorer Gime Toure to Carlisle in the Summer, the men from Victoria Park made an electric start to their campaign, winning their first three games... Since then though, it’s been tough going for Challinor’s side, with just two wins in their subsequent 10 league games... The side have won just twice at home this season...

The recent loan signing of Luke Armstrong, son of County legend Alun, looks to have given them a boost... County will be looking for a first win at Victoria Park since August 2009... This game will be County’s fourth successive league fixture away from home".

A fifth away match beckons for County at the J Davidson Stadium on Saturday!

ON THIS DAY: 23 December

Three years ago today, in 2017, Altrincham hosted Matlock Town at the JDS for the first time and won 3-0 in an Evostik NPL match. Alty had lost the return fixture at Matlock, 1-0, back in August.

Although Altrincham ran out comfortable winners, Matlock made them work hard for more than an hour. After Josh Hancock had spurned an early chance, Jordan Hulme latched onto James Poole's excellent ball up the middle to beat Phil Barnes in the 14th minute.

With fog making visibility difficult in the second half (as shown above), Alty extended their lead after 67 minutes when Jordan Hulme cleverly backheeled a cross from the right into the net, his 19th goal of the season. And it was another cross from the right that Hancock headed home to make it 3-0 in the 88th minute, a goal scored whilst the visitors were temporarily down to ten men.

Alty had made changes from the team which had exited the FA Trophy in midweek, with Densmore, Hannigan and Hancock returning to the startine eleven.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Tony THOMPSON, 2. Shaun DENSMORE, 3. Connor HAMPSON, 4. Tom HANNIGAN, 5. Ben HARRISON, 6. Jake MOULT (c), 7. John JOHNSTON, 8. Max HARROP, 9. Jordan HULME, 10. James POOLE, 11. Josh HANCOCK. Subs 12. Simon RICHMAN, 14. Tom PEERS, 15. James JONES, 16. Sean MILLER, 17. Lewis SHORT

This was Matlock's 15th visit to Moss Lane, a sequence in which they had now lost 13 times and gained one victory and one draw.


Kent Online reports that "An independent committee set up to review the National League’s distribution of lottery funding have reached a damning verdict.

The league finally agreed to the review after pressure from clubs, including Maidstone United, who were unhappy with the allocation of a £10 million bail-out. Funding was set to be based on lost gate revenue but the board adopted a different model... Aggrieved clubs were dealt a further blow with the board resisting requests to publish the findings.

The chairman of the committee, former FA chief David Bernstein... accused the board of 'trying to undermine the credibility of the independent panel”.

In a letter to league chairman Brian Barwick, Bernstein wrote...

1) We are profoundly disappointed that you have not shared our report with your clubs not least because we believe that this should be done in line with open and proper good governance and that the NL was committed to ensuring that the funding was distributed in a transparent manner...

2) We are concerned that the NL are making the December payments on the same basis as the previous two months thereby increasing the imbalance as described in our report. This is particularly concerning if, as we suspect, the arrangements for 2021 may be on a different basis...

3) We note the lack of response regarding governance issues...

4) We note the lack of courtesy in acknowledging our efforts and in responding to correspondence and what we can only interpret as attempts to undermine the credibility of the Independent Panel.

The funding for the period from January to March 2021 will come from a different source and the terms are still to be resolved... Therefore, if as you claim, our mandate was limited only to examining this 3 month period then setting up this panel was pointless'".

At Notts County manager "Neal Ardley has revealed that Cal Roberts and Damien McCrory will both undergo operations to fix their respective injuries...

'“Callum [Roberts] is going to have some surgery'... said the boss on Tuesday afternoon, 'A specialist has looked at all the data and feels a lot of the symptoms are coming from a weakness in the lining of his stomach and that an operation is the best course of action. None of the scans have shown exactly what it is but the specialist thinks this simple operation will give Callum the strength he needs to stop the pain and discomfort he’s been feeling.

'The positive news is that he could be back at 80% fitness within two weeks and at 100% within four so, if this does fix the problem, then we could potentially have Cal back in the fold come mid-January....

'Damien’s opposite knee to the one which was operated on after the first lockdown seems to have broken down,' said Ardley. 'He’s an absolute warrior who’s battled, battled and battled to get back fit but when he tells you something’s not right, you know it’s not right because he’d play with a broken leg.

'He’s going into surgery fairly soon and that could leave him out for anything between 6-10 weeks, depending on how serious it is. It’s terrible news for him. He’s really down. I had a chat with him this morning. You never want to see someone who’s worked so hard to get fit struggling. I hope we’ll see him play again this season.'"

According to the Northern Premier League, "Jamie Sterry has joined National League side Hartlepool United from South Shields.

The former Newcastle United defender made a move to South Shields in October and made four appearances for the club".

Before Tuesday's FA Trophy match against Boreham Wood, Yeovil Town reported that "Last time out, the Glovers secured a first league victory over Bromley in South London but attentions now turn to their first taste [of the] Trophy this season in Hertfordshire.

The winners of this tie will go on to host Torquay United at home. The gaffer was delighted to be back to Huish Park after ten days of Zoom training, he said, 'We were back in training on Saturday, but we’ve been in contact with players for the full isolation period.

'I never subscribed to the full principles of the first lockdown period with the use of zoom meeting but we thought, as a squad, it was important that we used that method to try to keep the same fitness levels up and better them ahead of a mad Christmas period.'

Luke Garrard’s Boreham Wood have built a reputation as a tricky National League side, already toppling Football League Southend in the FA Cup to secure a tie with Millwall...

The star man is a recognisable face, Kabongo Tshimanga who leads the line for the Wood, spent a spell on loan in Green and White in 2017, but didn’t make a competitive appearance. Despite a ten day break, Darren Sarll has confirmed there will be no new faces back from injury meaning the likes of Lee Collins and Josh Staunton remain unavailable."

The Leader Live says that "Wrexham will continue to be star attractions when Hollywood stars Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenny become owners but Shaun Pearson says things will 'calm down' when the takeover is completed...

It has been a whirlwind few months for Wrexham and Pearson believes... 'Things are slowly changing around the scenes now. More people are coming in so it will be interesting to see how they put their ideas what they want and whatever they are doing going forwards.

'Hopefully that will calm down in that sense and everybody knows who is in what position so to speak, and we can just concentrate on football.'

Wrexham, beaten by Leamington on a penalty shoot-out in the third round of the FA Trophy on Saturday, don't have a Boxing Day fixture because scheduled opponents Macclesfield were wound-up before the season began...

'It is not going to the same anyway because the Boxing Day fixture is usually a bit more special because there is usually big crowds and a great atmosphere so we wouldn't have had that anyway,' added Pearson, who will be back in action at Stockport on Monday".


Many are the clashes between Altrincham and Kettering Town over the past forty years or so, and the Northants Telegraph now reports that "Former Kettering Town FC owner Imraan Ladak has finally been arrested more than two months after he failed to turn himself in, it's understood.

The controversial 42-year-old, who ran the Poppies between 2005 and 2013, was jailed for six months at the High Court in Birmingham for contempt of court and was ordered to surrender to police by October 7.

Instead he went on the run and a warrant was issued for his arrest but, on Sunday (December 20), he was eventually captured just a few hundred yards from a police station.

The Northants Telegraph understands officers were called to a Travelodge, less than half a mile from Milton Keynes Police Station, after he was spotted at about 6pm. It's understood he jumped into a car and drove away but was pulled over and arrested...

Police had earlier been provided with his passport details and a warrant forbidding him from leaving the country with all airports, ports and the Eurotunnel on high alert for his capture.

In a judgment earlier this year His Honour Judge Rajeev Shetty said Ladak would have to serve six months behind bars at HMP Birmingham after breaching an order by making derogatory comments about former colleagues.

Ladak, whose reign at the Poppies almost saw the club go out of business after their ill-fated move to Nene Park, left medical recruitment firm Pertemps Medical Group (PMG) in 2018 with a settlement of more than £125,000, as well as a payment of almost £400,000 for his shares. As part of his settlement he agreed not to say anything that would bring the firm into disrepute or make derogatory comments about it and its employees.

But in 2019 he claimed he was owed £20,000 and made a series of accusations in an attempt to get more compensation, a High Court hearing previously heard, breaching the contract and pursuing a 'campaign of harassment'.

He accused one former colleague of fraud and another of racism... Ladak, who previously brought England legend Paul Gascoigne in as Poppies manager for 39 days before sacking him... claimed... that the Pertemps business was a 'scam' and accused one director of being a 'drunken pervert'. After PMG's lawyers sent a cease and desist letter Ladak sent an email to a director and addressed him as 'Timmy Saville'...

Ladak, who was declared bankrupt on August 25, was also ordered to pay PMG £70,000 in costs from the contempt applications."

22 December 2020


Altrincham's next opponents, Stockport County announce that "Striker Nyal Bell’s loan spell at FC Halifax Town has today been extended by an additional month.

Nyal, 23, has impressed already in his short time at the Shay, scoring twice in his first three starts for the Club, those goals coming in wins against Barnet and Aldershot.

He will now remain on loan at Halifax until January." Bell spent a short spell at Altrincham on loan in 2016.


Altrincham FC has Brian Flynn's interview with manager Phil Parkinson after the FA Trophy win at Chester FC.


Right: Tony Thompson has only conceded one goal is his last six league games.

Despite numerous injuries to defenders this season, the campaign has been remarkable for a marked tightening up of the Altrincham defence in 2020-21 season. Six league clean sheets have already been recorded this season in the 14 league fixtures played; by that stage of last season just one shut-out had been achieved.

At the other end of the pitch, 24 goals were scored in the first 14 league matches of last season compared with just thirteen this time around.

Combined with their defensive parsimony, Altrincham have shown a capacity to close out games this season. Last season just four games were won 1-0 by Altrincham in 33 outings; in 14 matches this season we have already witnessed as many 1-0 victories in the league.

Altrincham's fourteen National League fixtures so far this season comprise eight away matches and six at home. Twice as many points have been accrued away from Moss Lane (14) compared with the home tally (7 points).

In last season's curtailed campaign the ratios were almost the complete opposite with almost twice as many points gained at home (37) as earned on the road (20) when 16 games were at home and 17 away before the season was halted.


In Monday's FA Trophy draw, Altrincham have been dealt yet another away cup tie, which will become their twelfth cup game in succession to be played on another club's ground (excluding two home replays).

Alty will travel to Hampshire's Havant & Waterlooville on Saturday 16 January 2021 in the Fourth Round. Although the clubs have never met previously, Alty will be familiar with the locality having played at nearby Portsmouth in last season's FA Cup run.

The Hawks currently lie seventh in the National League South but have between two and four matches in hand on all of the six teams above them.

All ties must be played on Saturday 16 January 2021. The full draw is...

  • Kettering Town v Leamington
  • FC Halifax Town v Southport
  • Aldershot Town v Solihull Moors
  • Weymouth v Darlington
  • Sutton United v Dagenham & Redbridge
  • Stockport County v Notts County
  • Maidstone United or Frome Town v Dorking Wanderers
  • Wealdstone v Maldon & Tiptree or Gloucester City
  • Boreham Wood or Yeovil Town v Torquay United
  • Havant & Waterlooville v Altrincham
  • Boston United v Chesterfield
  • Stamford v Hereford FC
  • Bath City v Peterborough Sports
  • Hornchurch v King's Lynn Town
  • Bromley v Woking
  • Oxford City or Truro City v Haringey Borough

ON THIS DAY: 22 December

Two years ago on 22 December 2018, Altrincham played a 3-3 draw at home to Darlington in the Vanarama National League North. This was Altrincham's first reverse fixture of the season, having beaten the Quakers 3-0 on their ground at Blackwell Meadows. Darlington arrived having lost their last three league fixtures whilst Altrincham were top of the form guide after seven wins and a draw in their previous eight league matches.

However, Altrincham were without suspended striker Jordan Hulme, so Josh Hancock wore the number nine shirt. Out injured was defender Andy White, whilst James Poole and Ben Harrison continued their lengthier rehabilitation process. So the bench today was very inexperienced. Apart from Sean Williams who had made nine league starts this season, the other three outfield subs had just two starts between them, with neither Josh Langley nor new loanee Chris Sang having previously appeared in an Alty league game.

In an end to end game at the J Davidson Stadium, a draw was ultimately a fair result after Altrincham had fallen 3-1 behind shortly before the interval.

Above, Altrincham celebrate Josh Hancock's goal against Darlington.

Darlington first went ahead in the eighth minute when Elliott converted after goalkeeper tony Thompson had saved an earlier shot. But Josh Hancock's header from a John Johnston cross levelled things less than three minutes later.

An impressive Darlington move led to them regaining the lead as Saunders converted Palmer's low cross from the right in the 26th minute. The home support was stunned as Nicholson made it 3-1 in the 44th minute with a superb 25 yarder which went in off the underside of the crossbar. But Alty responded to make it 2-3 with a Max Harrop header from a left-side cross in added time before the interval.

In a sometimes feisty second half yellow cards were waved with frequency, Alty picking up four. Altrincham made it 3-3 in the 65th minute when loanee Ashley Hemmings scored from close range following a Johnston cross from the right. Alty thought they had won it in the seventh added minute of the game but the effort was ruled out for offside.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Tony Thompson, 2. Shaun Densmore, 3. Connor Hampson, 4. James Jones, 5. Tom Hannigan, 6. Jake Moult (c), 7. John Johnston, 8. Simon Richman, 9. Josh Hancock, 10. Max Harrop, 11. Ashley Hemmings. Subs: 12. Sean Williams, 14. Kallum Mantack, 15. Josh Langley, 16. Chris Sang, 20. Elliot Wynne.


Hartlepool United "look to bounce back from their FA Trophy exit as the attention turns back to the league and next opponents, Stockport, who head to the Vic tomorrow night.

Stockport, who went into this season as one of the favourites to be playing in the football league next year currently find themselves in 10th on 19 points but have played three fewer games than Hartlepool. The Hatters have played ten this season, winning six, drawing one and losing three.

The Manchester-based side is on a great run of form having only been beaten once in their last seven games as a running [winning?] run came to an end last Tuesday following a 1-0 defeat to Notts County.

Following last season's finish in 7th, manager Jim Gannon brought 15 new players through the doors at Edgeley Park including two former Poolies in Mark Kitching and Macauley Southam-Hales.

Pools and the Hatters have met 136 times in total with Pools winning 48 of those, drawing 31 and losing 57... A win for Pools could take them as high as 7th".

According to Lynn News, "King's Lynn Town have announced the signing of winger Michael Gyasi from St Ives Town.

The former Chelsea and Leicester City academy player has scored five goals in 10 appearances for the Cambridgeshire club this term... And the Walks outfit may not have finishing strengthening their squad, following the surprise departure of Jamar Loza to Woking on Friday".

King's Lynn Town add that "The 20 year old winger can play on either the left or right flank and in his time at St Ives this season he has... [won] three ‘man of the match’ awards in the process...

Lynn’s director of football Rob Back said ‘Michael is... still young and keen to learn and he is looking forward to doing that here. He’s not a direct replacement for Jamar Loza and we are still in the market for another player".

Wealdstone "confirm the signing of defender Josh Debayo over the weekend...

The 24 year-old Nigerian defender spent time in the Academies at Fulham, Chelsea, Southampton and Leicester City before he joined EFL League Two side Cheltenham Town in 2018.

He was part of the Robins squad that made the EFL League Two play-offs last season and also gained some National League experience during a loan spell with Dover Athletic in the 2018/19 season".

Torquay United "boss Gary Johnson gave his reaction to the news that the club has been drawn away to either Boreham Wood or Yeovil Town... Began Johnson 'When you get to the last 32 or so, then you’d expect some teams that have done well in it, and there’s still a few National League teams in it...

'We have the potential of playing Yeovil 3 times in 21 days, which is unusual, so we should get to know each other quite well by then!... We’ve got three important league games first, and we’ve got to concentrate on them.'"”

21 December 2020


Boxing Day brings neighbours Stockport County to Altrincham for a National League encounter.

The sides last met in the league on New Year's Day 2019, when both sides were in the National League North. On that occasion, Stockport arrived at the J. Davidson Stadium having already beaten their hosts three times that season, having eliminated them from the FA Cup and FA Trophy as well as beaten them in the reverse league fixture.

Alty had not scored against Stockport County that season and there were scant occasions when that looked likely to happen in this match as an efficient and well organized, rather than exciting, County side completed a league double over their Cheshire neighbours.

Above: Alty defend a first-half corner.

The visitors deserved the win but the manner of the game's only goal was somewhat fortunate. An Alty clearance some 30 yards out from goal hit the nearby Simon Richman and laid him low, with the ball rebounding to a County man. The ball was worked up the middle of the Alty defence for Matty Warburton to score in the 28th minute.

Neither keeper was to be overworked for the rest of the afternoon and, in Alty's case, the team was unable to provide any real service to striker Jordan Hulme, who was returning after suspension.

Alty did have a decent spell around the hour mark but Stockport managed the game well, slowing things down at every opportunity. A late flurry from Alty produced a shot narrowly wide from Hancock but that was about as good as it got. With the Hatters winning the corner count by a large margin there could be no complaints from Altrincham at the outcome of the match. Altrincham dropped to ninth with this result.

This Saturday's match will be behind closed doors whereas this encounter in 2019 attracted 3,383, the biggest crowd for a home league match since the play-off match with Guiseley in 2014, which had been attended by 4,632.

Altrincham had restored Jordan Hulme and Andy White to the starting eleven following their suspension and injury respectively but had lost loanee Ashley Hemmings's services on the eve of the match as his employers summoned him back to AFC Fylde. So Kallum Mantack started this game on the left wing. Max Harrop was out of action with a minor knock.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Tony Thompson, 2. Andy White, 3. Connor Hampson, 4. James Jones, 5. Tom Hannigan, 6. Jake Moult (c), 7. John Johnston, 8. Simon Richman, 9. Jordan Hulme, 10. Josh Hancock, 11. Kallum Mantack. Subs: 12. Chris Sang, 14. Sean Williams, 15. Ben Harrison, 16. Shaun Densmore, 20. Elliot Wynne.


Sunday's Non-League Paper has an almost double-page spread on Alty and their manager, Phil Parkinson.

The Alty boss admits it is a "lot harder" at National League level than last season, when Alty played at a level below. He identifies "the mobility of all the players" as the biggest difference from previously. "Non-League has gone that way more. Lads are very health conscious", he explained.

"But we love them as well and look after them... We focus on ourselves more than the opposition... We're doing all right, doing what we're doing at the moment

"It's a brilliant time to be at Altrincham... The Board are young and ambitious. That really inspires myself... It's going in the right direction....

"We are part-time. We have an hour and a half with them if we've got two games a week, maybe two hours max".

He went on to praise his medical team saying, "The injuries we've got, I've never known anything like it. We're not talking muscular injuries, we're talking impact; broken bones and fractures, it's crazy".

He continued, "We're not just happy where we are... We want to kick on. There are things we've got in the pipeline with regard to going full-time. We're not quite there yet but that will be the next step for Altrincham to progress. And, who knows, even maybe even crack it and get into the Football League like Barrow did".

For the full story get your Non-League Paper, just £1.50 at newsagents or online.


Former Alty loanee Josh Ginnelly scored a goal as a Hearts substitute which took the Edinburgh side to a penalty shootout with Celtic in Sunday's Scottish Cup Final.

But Celtic won the shootout with Ginnelly playing no part in it.


"Following FC Halifax Town’s penalty win over Hartlepool United in the FA Trophy, Manager Pete Wild said, 'I thought the game had two completely different settings. In the first 25 minutes we were incredible, really good, and moved the ball really well. After we went 2-0 up, our levels dropped and I don’t think we were anywhere near the level we had been...

'At the end I felt a draw was a fair result to take it to a penalty shoot-out. They caused us a lot of problems in the second half, which we didn’t deal'...

Town won the penalty shoot-out 4-2 thanks to Jack Senior, Luke Summerfield, Niall Maher, and Billy Chadwick scoring theirs... Wild told Shaymen TV 'I knew we had good penalty takers. Luke Summerfield takes them for us anyway. Then two or three of the boys from last season’s playoffs were confident. I also knew Billy was coming here and I knew that he has scored in every EFL penalty shoot-out he has been in'...

'It’s a competition we want to do well in', Wild said... 'I have got to find the balance between resting players in this busy period, but I want us to go as far as we possibly can'".

The Leader Live tells us that "It wasn't pretty viewing and losing a penalty shoot-out completed an embarrassing afternoon for Wrexham.

Dean Keates's side were knocked out of the FA Trophy by National League North outfit Leamington who won 6-5 on penalties... A forgettable 90 minutes saw a much-changed Wrexham side squander a couple of half-chances in the first period but the Brakes were the better side after the break without creating too many opportunities.

A shoot-out was the least Leamington deserved and both teams converted their first five spot-kicks.

Wrexham had a chance to win it when the Brakes missed the first sudden death penalty but goalkeeper Jake Weaver saved James Horsfield's effort.

And after Jack Edwards scored the next spot-kick, Anthony Jeffrey saw his attempt saved by Weaver as Leamington progressed to round four.

Here's how the players rated:

  • CHRISTIAN DIBBLE... didn't have a lot to do. 4
  • MAX CLEWORTH, The teenager deserves more credit than some more experienced team-mates. 4
  • SHAUN PEARSON: Still finding his feet as the Reds' captain continued his comeback from surgery. 5
  • MARK CARRINGTON: First appearance of the season following injury and was solid enough. 5
  • PAUL RUTHERFORD: Didn't impose himself on the game and taken off after an hour. 3
  • ELLIOTT DURRELL: Failed to have an impact as Wrexham lacked a cutting edge in the final third. 3
  • JAMES HORSFIELD: Did the dirty work but needed more creativity around him in midfield. 4
  • DAN JARVIS: Showed some glimpses first half but dropped off after the break. Missed a good chance. 4
  • JORDAN DAVIES: Was the biggest attacking threat first half but tailed off in second period. 4
  • KWAME THOMAS: Squandered a couple of half chances in the opening period. 3
  • ADI YUSSUF: Unable to take one half-chance that came his way before the break. 3
  • ANTHONY JEFFREY: Lacked quality with crosses and missed final penalty. 3
  • JAKE BICKERSTAFF: Came on for the final 10 minutes. 3

The Boston Standard reports that "Pierce Bird was left enjoying a 'completely different' FA Trophy experience with Boston United.

The defender, who joined on loan from Eastleigh this week, was named in the Pilgrims' starting XI for yesterday's 4-2 penalty shootout victory over AFC Fylde.

It was a far cry from last year's debut for United, also in the same competition... a 1-0 defeat at Atherton Collieries...

'I only lasted 20 minutes and had to come off,' Bird reflected. 'I broke my nose and had to have that re-positioned. Completely different.'

But yesterday the 21-year-old was in much better spirits following the penalty shootout success, which saw his ex-Magpies teammate Ross Fitzsimons make two vital saves".

Woking "battled back against a spirited Dover Athletic side to progress into the fourth round of the FA Trophy thanks to goals from Charlie Cooper and Slavi Spasov.

Dover took an unexpected lead through Ade Azeez in the first minute of the second half, but... Cooper’s penalty provided the equaliser before his cross set up Spasov to head home the winner.

Woking stood firm against late Dover attacks... and defeat the Kent side for a second time in a little over a month following on from a 5-1 away win in the league.

Alan Dowson made two changes to the starting line-up that comprehensively beat Hartlepool United at Kingfield seven days earlier, with Max Kretzschmar suspended and Jack Cook dropping out of the matchday squad, which saw Dave Tarpey return to the attack and Nathan Collier slot into the defence. New signing Jamar Loza completed a strong bench for the Cards as he started his third stint at the club".

20 December, 2020


Altrincham return to league action on Boxing Day when they host Stockport County at the J. Davidson Stadium in a Vanarama National League match.

Both sides won their respective FA Trophy ties on Saturday.


James Jones returned from injury as an unused sub for Barrow on Saturday as they beat Cheltenham Town.

Less happily for them, three Alty "old boys" bowed out of the FA Trophy on Saturday. Jordan Hulme, John Johnston and Elliott Durrell will all take no further part in the FA Trophy as their sides, AFC Fylde, Chester FC and Wrexham all went out of the competition.


They may be making a film about the club but today did not provide a happy ending as Wrexham bowed out of the FA Trophy at The Racecourse.

"Leamington ran rampant to the fourth round of the FA Trophy, after claiming a nail-biting penalty shootout to break Wrexham hearts and knock the Reds out of the competition.

Normal time finished 0-0, with either side failing to conjure up any real, substantial chances. Sam Osbourne came closest in the 53rd minute, as his effort was denied only by the post of the Wrexham goal.

Penalties went to sudden death, as both sides scored all five of their penalties with ease. James Horsfield had the chance to win the tie for Wrexham, after Kaiman Anderson missed his penalty for The Brakes, but the experienced Wrexham man produced a poor penalty, which was easily saved. Jack Edwards then scored for Leamington and Jeffrey missed the final penalty, meaning Wrexham were knocked out of the cup 6-5 on penalties.

Wrexham made eight changes from the side that heroically came back from the dead to squash Weymouth dreams midweek, as Dean Keates looked to rotate his heavily active squad.

Shaun Pearson kept his place, as he looked to get more minutes under his belt after a recent injury. Elliott Durrell and Kwame Thomas also remained in the starting eleven to keep some of the fluidity and familiarity in the side, which came back from 2-0 against Weymouth.

Keates pursued with his new five at the back thinking, as Jordan Davies remained in the left-wing back position after his impressive display at Weymouth. The experience and versatility of James Horsfield was also on display, as he took up a central defensive midfielder role instead of his usual wing-back position.

Leamington started with the same eleven that came out 5-0 winners against St Ives in the previous round... Time passed throughout the first half without much real action to attend to. Wrexham were comfortably controlling the game but were not offering any cutting-edge football to break the deadlock. Leamington were definitely trying to press their agenda and to not sit back ‘José Mourinho’ style...

Half time was called, as the gushing rain came down to cap off a fairly uneventful first half, but recent games have proved that Wrexham are very much a second half superior side...

The Leamington pressure was really piling up on Wrexham now, as their players flooded the Dragons’ box... Osbourne was really dictating play at the Racecourse, as the Wrexham players didn’t know whether to stand off the midfielder or close him down...

Leamington were dictating every movement of play in this period and were putting the Wrexham backline under enormous amounts of pressure... The recent and alarming Leamington pressure finally woke up Wrexham and The Reds started to formulate some attacks at the Leamington goal... Wrexham finally took a meaningful shot at goal and it came through Durrell in the 86th minute...

Both teams scored all five of their first penalties, before Leamington substitute Kaiman Anderson slammed his penalty into the crossbar. Horsfield stepped up next to win the shootout for Wrexham, but it was a poor penalty to the middle of the goal and was easily saved by Weaver.

Captain Edwards finally stepped up to take a penalty for his side and he slammed it down the middle of the goal, before Jeffrey failed to convert for Wrexham, meaning the Leamington players were sprinting off into the distance to celebrate with keeper Weaver, much to Wrexham’s dismay".

Weymouth "won their first game since October in dramatic fashion as they beat fellow National League side Maidenhead in the FA Trophy 3-2.

Brian Stock named a much changed side to the midweek defeat to Wrexham. Gerard Benfield, Alefe Santos, Jack Hoey and Cody Cooke replace Bycroft, Thomson, Leslie-Smith and Shields... The Terras were the better team in the early stages of the game and went 1-0 up in the 16th minute thanks to Cody Cooke...The former St.Mirren man was composed and struck the ball into an open goal after deceiving the keeper.

The Terras came close to losing the lead but then doubled the score on the counter attack in the 32nd minute... The ball fell back to Santos who won a penalty after being brought down by Manny Parry. Captain Josh McQuoid stepped up to take the penalty, slotting it past Oluwayemi’s right...

Maidenhead got themselves back into the game in the 43rd minute. Danilo Orsi... managed to turn Terras defenders to strike with his left foot past Benfield.

The comeback was completed in added time of the first half for the Magpies. Orsi bagged his brace within two minutes...

Weymouth took the lead again in the 53rd minute... Corey Jordan poked it over the line... The Terras played for time well to see out the game and progress for the next round of the FA Trophy for the first time since 2003".

Torquay United "came out on top against Chesham in their FA Trophy 3rd Round clash at The Meadow... After a goalless first half, Josh Umerah’s goal just after the break was enough to separate the two sides...

Despite Gulls manager Gary Johnson ringing the changes for the trip to Buckinghamshire, it was a decidedly strong-looking line-up that took the field, with Lucas Covolan, Armani Little, Dean Moxey, Billy Waters and Umerah replacing Tuesday night starters Shaun MacDonald, Kyle Cameron, Connor Lemonheigh-Evans, Aaron Nemane and Danny Wright...

Johnson’s men enjoyed the bulk of possession... without putting Generals’ keeper Sam Beasant under too much pressure...United were rarely troubled by defensive duties, with the hosts spending the majority of the first 45 minutes in and around their own penalty area... It remained scoreless at the halfway point though...

It didn’t take long for Johnson's half-time team talk to pay off... Little floated in an excellent delivery into the heart of the danger area, which beat the flailing arms of Beasant, but not Umerah, who powered home a header from six yards out to put United 1-0 up... Chesham certainly upped the ante as the game began to edge towards the 90-minute mark, as Johnson’s side were forced to soak up some pressure for the first time",

At Stockport County "The Hatters... booked a place in the Fourth Round after coming from behind to triumph, as well as securing a first-ever competitive success in seven attempts, over the National League North visitors, Guiseley, who played much of the second half with 10 men.

Alex Reid could even afford to miss a penalty, before bagging a brace and substitute John Rooney added a third at the death, as a much-changed County side went through into Monday’s draw... County took to the field in the unexpected sunshine showing seven alterations from the starting line-up at Notts County in the National League four days earlier.

Goalkeeper Josh Barnes and midfielder Harvey Gilmour were handed their competitive debuts, while on-loan striker Louis Britton made his first start in a County shirt. Ryan Croasdale, Connor Jennings, Macauley Southam-Hales and Jamie Stott were all recalled – and the seven substitutes permitted for the competition included Academy player Jack Hinchy, as well as half a dozen of the starters from Tuesday evening in Nottingham. With regular skipper Liam Hogan among those, Ash Palmer wore the Captain’s armband against his former club.

Guiseley, meanwhile, featured ex-Hatter Kaine Felix in attack – while the visitors’ bench had an appropriately festive feel about it, through the inclusion of Gabriel Johnson and Miracle Okafor... Ten minutes of the half remained when the visitors took the lead, as Wafula capitalised on a moment’s hesitation by Barnes to slide in and convert a through-ball under the debutant keeper...

Within 10 minutes of the resumption the Hatters were handed a potential lifeline from 12 yards, when Reid was brought down in the away area by Bencherif, who was promptly red-carded. Referee Smith, also without hesitation, pointed to the spot but Reid, having dusted himself down to take the penalty, blasted it high and wide of the goal’s left side to leave County trailing.

The Hatters continued to press and, with their new-found numerical advantage, began to enjoy much the greater share of possession and opportunities... Reid made amends for his earlier spot-kick miss, as he headed home to get County back on terms with 13 minutes left... Reid, within four minutes of having equalised, cut through on the right to squeeze the ball inside the near upright for his and the Hatters’ second.

Rooney, another former Lion, put the icing on the cake with added time beginning, courtesy of a fine, first-time strike from just inside the box that flew past Wade...

Team (3-4-2-1): Barnes; Keane, Palmer (Capt.), Stott; Southam-Hales (Minihan, 76), Croasdale, Gilmour (Rooney, 76), Kitching; Reid, C. Jennings; Britton (Williams, 76). Unused Subs: Hinchliffe, Hogan, Bennett, Hinchy".

Solihull Moors tell us that "Kyle Hudlin’s moment of brilliance helped fire Moors to a 4-0 victory over National League North side Farsley Celtic in the FA Trophy Third Round... Hudlin repeating his heroics from Tuesday night with yet another jaw-dropping strike...

A brace from substitute Cameron Archer and a goal from Mitch Hancox gave a real gloss to the final scoreline but it wasn’t one-way traffic as the result would suggest.

It was far from a straight forward afternoon for Moors with the game taking place on the 3G pitch after the Stadium pitch was deemed unfit to play... With the half lacking any real quality, Hudlin came to the fore. Collecting the ball from Stephen Gleeson, he turned and from 20 yards, struck a curling effort into the top corner.

It was a moment of class from the 20-year-old, one which lit up a very tight first half and saw Shan’s side take a 1-0 lead into the break...

Moors were pushing for a second, and it came midway through the half. Krystian Pearce’s deflected effort hit Archer and nestled into the bottom corner... And substitute Archer was heavily involved in the home side’s fourth, his neat low cut-back was well-tucked home by Hancox.

In the end, a resounding victory but make no mistake, Shan's side were made to work hard".

Notts County "progressed to the fourth round of the Buildbase FA Trophy with a 3-0 win over Morpeth Town.

An early strike from Elisha Sam was added to by Sam Graham and Jimmy Knowles after the break as we saw off a side from two leagues below us.

Neal Ardley stuck to his promise of giving opportunities to those who had been starved of action in recent weeks. One man to benefit was Luke Pilling, who took his place between the sticks for his debut. In front of him, Alex Lacey partnered Sam Graham in the heart of defence, with Richard Brindley and Adam Chicksen at full-back.

With Michael Doyle on the bench, Jim O’Brien took the captain’s armband and lined up alongside Matty Wolfe in central midfield. Tom Walker and Elisha Sam were our wide options, with Ruben Rodrigues playing off Jimmy Knowles up front.

And it was Sam who gave us the perfect start... with a well struck low shot... It was proving to be a tough afternoon’s work for both sides on a boggy, bobbly pitch... Dion Kelly-Evans replaced Brindley at half-time and we soon set about doubling our lead... Graham was the man of the moment, stooping low at the back post to head the ball home from a corner..

We put the game to bed when Sam won the ball back in his own penalty area and led a counter-attack which caught Morpeth cold. He played the ball to Knowles who had a clear run on goal, allowing him to round the keeper and tuck the ball away".

For Hartlepool United "It was a nightmare start to the game for Dave Challinor’s men after some early possession from Halifax led to an attack down the left-hand side. Nepomuceno drove into the box and was taken down by Cass and the referee gave the penalty. Summerfield stepped up for the hosts on 12 minutes and slotted the ball past Ravas.

Just two minutes later Halifax once again attacked down the left-hand side as Nepomuceno drove inside this time and rifled a shot into the top corner which Ravas could do nothing about to make it 2-0 to the Shaymen after just 14 minutes.

Pools started to work their way back into the game with a spell of possession and after a ball was put into the box by MacDonald, Donaldson won the header which hit of the arm of Halifax defender Byrne and the referee pointed straight to the spot on 26 minutes. Luke Williams who returned from injury, confidently picked the ball up and slotted it [into the] bottom right corner to get Pools a goal back..

On 71 minutes... a Holohan shot was hit of the hand of (Jeff)King who was sent off and Pools were awarded a penalty. Featherstone stepped up and slotted away to make it 2-2.

Pools couldn’t believe their luck as just two minutes later Halifax counter attacked up the pitch and new signing Billy Chadwick shot on the edge of box, past Ravas and into the bottom corner to make it 3-2 to the ten men.

This lively cup tie wouldn’t stop just there as on 78 minutes Holohan picked up the ball on the left hand side and swooped a right footed shot into the top corner to get Pools level...and send the tie to penalties.

Four penalties were taken each and with Halifax scoring all of theirs and Donaldson and Holohan missing for Pools, the Shaymen will go through to the next round".

Eastleigh report that "In a seven-goal thriller, the Spitfires crashed out of the FA Trophy after a comeback from Wealdstone...

A corner from Ryan Hill was met by the unmarked Andrew Boyce who headed home to open the scoring... It didn’t take long for Eastleigh to double their lead... A Wealdstone defender blocked a shot from Blair which fell kindly to the feet of Hill... [who] fired a hard shot past the keeper... Hill then doubled his goal tally in a matter of minutes in first half...

The home side started the second half on top, creating chances immediately after the restart. Their comeback began with an absolute rocket from substitute Charlie Wakefield in the 46th minute; the midfielder fired in from 25 yards out, off the underside of the bar... and ten minutes after the restart a penalty was awarded after a trip in the box.

Flitney denied Dennon Lewis, pushing the ball round the post for a corner. The celebrations, however, were short-lived as from the resulting corner Jack Cawley headed home to bring the defecit back to a single goal... After constant pressure in the second half, the comeback was complete for Wealdstone.

Dennon Lewis found himself space on the left, delivered a cross which deflected past Flitney to bring the scores level... As the game ticked over until stoppage time.... Jacob Mendy-Mendy was left free, cutting inside on his stronger foot and drilling the ball past Flitney...

Late drama in the final minutes gave the Spitfires a chance to level the scores again. Hill surged down the right again and was fouled inside the box, giving the referee no choice but to point to the spot.

Well into added time Smith stepped up but, just like at the other end, the penalty was heroically saved, sending Wealdstone through to the next round".

At Dagenham & Redbridge "Goals from Paul McCallum, Angelo Balanta, Callum Reynolds and a double from Darren McQueen, who grabbed his first two goals for the Club, helping the side to victory over [Ebbsfleet United, 5-2].

There were four changes to the side from Tuesday night’s win over Torquay United with Charlee Adams and Angelo Balanta coming into the team along with Callum Reynolds, who was making his return from injury, and Liam Gordon making his first appearance since returning to the side on loan earlier this week. Myles Weston, Dean Rance, Luke Croll and the suspended Mitch Brundle were the players making way...

[Trailing 3-0] The Fleet came out for the second half with something to prove... Both sides ended the game with 10-men after McQueen and Martin both went off with five minutes left in the match".

Chesterfield say that "Kyle Letheren was the hero as he made three penalty saves as the Spireites won 4-3 on penalties in their FA Trophy tie against Brackley Town, following a 0-0 draw in normal time.

James Rowe made three changes to the side that beat Barnet last week with Jonathan Smith, Liam Mandeville and the suspended Will Evans replacing Joel Taylor, Curtis Weston and hat-trick hero Akwasi Asante...

The Spireites thought they had broken the deadlock just before the break, but were denied by the offside flag... Chesterfield continued to pressure the Brackley back-line, but couldn’t carve out any chances... Despite both side’s best efforts, the game ended goalless and went straight to a penalty shoot-out.

The score was 1-1 after two penalties with Boden and Ethan Coleman having their penalties saved by Lewis and Letheren respectively. McCourt stepped up for the third penalty, but it was saved yet again by the Brackley Town goalkeeper. The visitors held the advantage and looked to go into the last penalty with the lead.

Substitute Tre Mitford blasted his spot-kick over the bar. The shoot-out went to sudden death after successful penalties from Akwasi Asante and Morgan Roberts. Laurence Maguire hammered home his spot-kick to put the Spireites 4-3 up. Shep Murombedzi stepped up to keep his side in the game, but Letheren pulled off a brilliant save... to send Chesterfield through".

Barnet experienced "a quiet opening to proceedings at a rainy Meadowbank Stadium... It would be the National League South side [Dorking Wanderers] who would take the lead...

Tim Flowers's side soon found their feet... Ten minutes before the break, we were level as... debutant Ben Fox... made no mistake... The hosts responded almost immediately, as a quick free-kick was played wide before Prior powered a header home...

With twenty minutes left on the clock, we were down to ten men as Fox's debut ended early as he was shown a straight red card for a late tackle... The 10-man Bees continued to force the issue... As the match went into five added minutes, the hosts sealed the victory as Luke Moore stepped up to convert a penalty, after Loach had brought down a Dorking attacker.

It wasn't the start new boss Tim Flowers wanted".

"A five-star performance from Aldershot Town secured a 4th round place in the FA Trophy against Welwyn Garden City at Herns Way.

It was Aldershot Town who got the advantage first through Mike Fondop who converted from the penalty spot after being fouled in the area by a Welwyn defender before Finney doubled the lead heading home at the back post.

The game was out of reach for Welwyn when Shadrach Ogie hit another screamer from distance before Mo Bettamer tapped home into an empty net. Jordan Kinoshi got a consolation goal for Welwyn before Chike Kandi rounded off the win with a volley from close range.

Looking to improve from Saturday’s loss against Boreham Wood, Danny Searle made six changes to the starting line-up. Fondop, Walker, Finney, Joel Nouble, Jamie Sendles-White and Jermaine Anderson came in for Kodi Lyons-Foster, Brad James, George Fowler, Giles Phillips, James Rowe and Harrison Panayiotou".

19 December 2020


After a fairly even first half, a superb long range shot from Joel Senior put Alty one up in the third minute of first-half added time.

Chester equalised in the 49th minute from Glendon's turn and firm shot.

But a fine run up the middle by Kosylo led to Peers getting free to dink the ball past the advancing keeper, Gray to make it 2-1 to Alty in the 55th minute.

Match report here.


FA Trophy Third Round games to be played on Saturday, 19 December.

  • Alfreton Town P-P King's Lynn Town
  • Altrincham 2-1 Chester FC [at Chester]
  • Ashton United 1-2 Kettering Town
  • Bath City 4-0 Swindon Supermarine
  • Boston United 1-1 AFC Fylde (Boston won 4-2 on penalties)
  • Chesham United 0-1 Torquay United
  • Chesterfield 0-0 Brackley Town (Chesterfield won 4-3 on penalties)
  • Dagenham & Redbridge 5-2 Ebbsfleet United
  • Darlington 2-2 AFC Telford United (Darlington won 5-3 on penalties)
  • Dartford 0-1 Haringey Borough
  • Dorking Wanderers 3-1 Barnet
  • Dulwich Hamlet 1-1 Hornchurch (Hornchurch won on penalties)
  • FC Halifax Town 2-3 Hartlepool United (Jeff King sent off)
  • Havant & Waterlooville 1-0 Braintree Town
  • Maldon & Tiptree P-P Gloucester City
  • Morpeth Town 0-3 Notts County
  • Nantwich Town 0-1 Hereford FC
  • Peterborough Sports 1-2 Basford United
  • Solihull Moors 4-0 Farsley Celtic
  • Spennymoor Town 2-2 Southport (Southport won 5-4 on penalties)
  • St Albans City 0-2 Sutton United
  • Stockport County 3-1 Guiseley
  • Wealdstone 4-3 Eastleigh
  • Welwyn Garden City 1-5 Aldershot Town
  • Weymouth 3-2 Maidenhead United
  • Woking 2-1 Dover
  • Wrexham0-0 Leamington (Leamington won 6-5 on penalties)


Altrincham's game against Chester FC in the FA Trophy remains a home tie, so far as officialdom is concerned, but the game's switch to the Deva Stadium means that, in all other respects, it is an away fixture.

Chester FC will be streaming the game, at a cost of £7.50 per person. Details of how to purchase your access are here.

This is the third cup match for Alty this season and all three games will have been played away from home, despite the club having been drawn at home in two of the competitions! The Cheshire Senior Cup home tie against Barnton was moved to the Cheshire club's stadium to save the Moss Lane pitch, just as this Saturday's game has been relocated to Chester.

Last season Altrincham were drawn away from home eight successive times (in the FA Cup, Trophy and CSC), albeit they earned two home replays in that sequence. This season, today's game at Chester will mean that they have played a further three successive cup matches away from home, making a total of eleven successive cup ties (excluding replays) on opponents' grounds over two seasons!

Ex-Alty man John Johnston sat out Chester's last game on the bench but will be hoping to face his former employers on Saturday.


Altrincham FC have posted a "Message from Altrincham FC Co-Chairman Bill Waterson", which says "The Government will be reviewing Tier levels on a fortnightly basis, with the next review being planned for 30th December.

We have had a dedicated team working on matchday planning, preparing documentation and seeking approval from The FA, The National League and, most importantly, Trafford Borough Council. Our work will continue to put us in as strong a position as possible to proceed in the event of a future move to Tier 2.

It is almost certain that, should a re-Tiering take place, we would run a test event with a limited capacity for our first game back. We would then work slowly but steadily towards increasing capacity in subsequent matches... We will be making further announcements over the Christmas period".


It was announced yesterday that Altrincham had signed young defender Harrison Holgate on a month's loan. His parent club, Fleetwood Town "confirm that defender Harrison Holgate has joined Altrincham on a youth loan.

Holgate has made nine appearances for the Cod Army so far this season, playing a part in a 3-1 win over Carlisle United, a 3-0 win over Aston Villa U21, and the side’s 4-1 win over Hull City.

Everyone at the club wishes Harrison all the best whilst on loan at The J.Davidson Stadium."

ON THIS DAY: 19 December

Three years ago today, on a Tuesday night in 2017, Altrincham bowed out of the FA Trophy at the JDS in a replay against Warrington Town, losing 1-2.

Above: The teams greet each other before kick off, under the Moss Lane floodlights.

Two very late defensive lapses by Altrincham allowed Warrington to snatch a dramatic 2-1 win in this Buildbase FA Trophy replay at the J Davidson Stadium. This was the third meeting between the teams that season after two dour goalless draws at Cantilever Park. This match witnessed a somewhat brighter, but still goalless, first half.

Jordan Hulme eventually broke the deadlock in the 52nd minute when he turned and half-volleyed a shot past ex-Alty goalkeeper Tony McMillan following a Johnston corner.

However, the visitors made all three substitutions and went for an equalizer which they scored in the 87th minute as Liam Goulding (another who has worn the shirts of both clubs) netted from close range when Alty keeper Thompson hesitated after initially coming for the ball. Alty had now lost the initiative and they conceded a second goal in the third added minute when McDonald, now an Alty player, slid in at the back post as Alty failed to clear a low cross from the right.

Nevertheless, there was still time for Hampson to hit the post and then for Alty to fail to convert the resulting loose ball before the final whistle sounded.

Altrincham had made four changes from the original tie as Bembo-Leta, Jones, Harrop and Miller started in place of Densmore, Hannigan, Richman and Peers.

ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts, red socks) 1. Tony THOMPSON, 2. Joel BEMBO-LETA, 3. Connor HAMPSON, 4. James JONES, 5. Ben HARRISON, 6. Jake MOULT (c), 7. John JOHNSTON, 8. Max HARROP, 9. Jordan HULME, 10. James POOLE, 11 Sean MILLER. Subs 12. Tom PEERS, 14 Simon RICHMAN, 15. Josh HANCOCK, 16. Shaun DENSMORE, 17. Sam SHERIDAN


The Hartlepool Mail reminds us that "Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the 2019-20 FA Trophy is still yet to be completed with League Two Harrogate Town set to face National League South Concord Rangers at Wembley.

The competition has seen a slight change of format this season with National League teams now entering at the third round stage opposed to the first round as they had done in previous years.

But the run to the final will remain the same for fifth tier sides as they will still be required to knock out five teams to reach Wembley.

The third round bye means this is already the furthest Hartlepool United have got in the competition after being knocked out twice in the first round and once in the second round during their previous campaigns.

But their manager Dave Challinor remains the most recent manager to lift the Trophy, doing so with AFC Fylde in 2019. This season, Pools are guaranteed to take away at least £1,250 in prize money from the competition. But a run to the final could see the club earn a total of £54,000 while winning the competition outright would get £84,750 in prize money.

So far this season Pools have earned £15,032 in the FA Cup after they were beaten 2-0 after extra-time at Salford City in the first round.

In the Trophy, Challinor’s side would have to reach the quarter-final stage in order to generate a similar amount of prize money.

Here’s the full breakdown...

  • Third round (Hartlepool United enter): Winners receive £4500, losers receive £1250
  • Fourth round: Winners receive £5250, losers receive £1500
  • Fifth round: Winners receive £6000, losers receive £1750
  • Quarter Final: Winners receive £7500, losers receive £2000
  • Semi-Final: Winners receive £15,000, losers receive £5000
  • Final runners-up: £30,000 Final winners: £60,000


According to the Leader Live, "Joe Clarke loves to tell his Leamington team-mates that he graced the hallowed Wembley turf three times during his days with Wrexham.

It’s a boast that very few players at lower league level can brag about and Clarke, who made nearly 150 appearances in a four-year stay at The Racecourse, is only too happy to rewind the tape.

'Three Wembley appearances isn’t bad, is it?' said the 32-year-old midfielder, who returns to The Racecourse on Saturday to renew acquaintances with his old partners in the Reds’ engine room, Dean Keates and Jay Harris...

Clarke came off the bench to play is part in the FA Trophy final win over Grimsby Town in 2013... Clarke then experienced the lows of a Wembley loss as Wrexham were beaten by Welsh rivals Newport County in the Conference play-off final just weeks later.

And two years later, he started the FA Trophy final against North Ferriby United, who scalped Wrexham 3-2 in extra time.

'I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Wrexham'... added Clarke, who has since played for Kidderminster, Brackley and Tamworth before joining up with Leamington... 'I live in Solihull so playing for Leamington is great'...

'The National League North is a tough division but we’ve done well against the full-time teams like York City and Fylde'".

At Barnet "Tim Flowers has made his first signing as manager, with midfielder Ben Fox joining on an initial one-month loan deal from Burton Albion, with a view to extending the loan agreement in January.

The 22-year-old central midfield player joins up with the Bees ahead of tomorrow's Buildbase FA Trophy clash with Dorking Wanderers. The 5"11 defensive midfielder has played nine league matches for the Brewers so far this campaign...

Tim Flowers said 'Ben is an energetic, box-to-box midfielder, he's got a goal in him as well... He's been at Gateshead and Solihull before my time there. He's in decent shape, but most of all he is a mobile lad, who can move the football'".

The Dorset Echo advises that "Weymouth are facing an injury crisis ahead of their FA Trophy third round tie with Maidenhead... with a considerable queue for the treatment table.

In Tuesday night’s 3-2 loss to Wrexham, Sean Shields (hamstring), Ben Thomson (ankle) and Josh Leslie-Smith (blurred vision) were the latest casualties. The likes of Cameron Murray (concussion), Brennan Camp, Andreas Robinson (hip), Josh Dickson (leg) and Ade Olumuyiwa were already nursing injuries.

In the aftermath of the Wrexham defeat, striker Shamir Mullings also left the club. At the time of writing, Weymouth were also waiting to hear of any potential disciplinary action against manager Brian Stock, who was red carded after full-time on Tuesday...

Stock said, 'We put a lot of effort in when we look at the opposition and it will be no different when we look at Maidenhead... We’re a part-time team and Ben [Thonson]’s struggling to play 90 minutes now. He worked so hard for the first 45 minutes (against Wrexham) and rolled his ankle, so he had to be forced to come off.

'He’s played really well the last three games. He’s made a real difference up front and I’ve been really pleased with his performances.'

Skipper Josh McQuoid was subbed late on against Wrexham having scored three goals in four games. Stock added 'He’s been excellent since he came out of isolation. He’s come back, he’s a leader'".

Southern Football asks us to "Spare a thought for Pitching In Southern Football League Division One Central club Welwyn Garden City, who must play the biggest game in their history on Saturday against Vanarama National League side Aldershot Town behind closed doors.

Hertfordshire has been placed in Tier 3...which is desperately disappointing news for the Citizens, who were hoping to attract a maximum-allowed crowd of 400 for the tie. City have never played a team from the top of the non-League Pyramid... This is only the third season Nick Ironton`s side have competed in the Trophy after winning promotion from the Spartan South Midlands League in 2017/18...

Ironton won two Conference titles and lifted the Trophy with Enfield before clinching a third Conference crown with Barnet.

Aldershot Town were formed in 1992 as a Phoenix club after the original well-established Football League club folded. They had to start in Division Three of the Isthmian League and won back-to-back promotions to Division One where they got 'stuck' for four seasons before winning the title and a place in the Premier Division in 1998.

Just ten years later, the Shots returned to the professional ranks, spending five seasons in League Two and just missing out on promotion to League One with a play-off defeat to Rotherham United in 2010.

But they were relegated back to the Conference/National League in 2013 and have struggled to find consistency in reasons seasons, finishing 21st and 18th in the last two campaigns... Their Trophy record isn`t great; something for City to cling to...

They do possess some dangerous players though, such as striker Mo Bettamer, who was a prolific scorer in the Isthmian League with Staines Town and also played under Searle at Braintree Town. They also boast former Scotland international Ross McCormack in their squad. The 34-year-old has a very established career at Championship level, scoring lots of goals in a number of productive seasons for Cardiff City, Leeds United, Fulham and Aston Villa and has been signed for a combined fee of nearly £25 million during his career".

At Notts County, "Neal Ardley is relishing the opportunity to give much-needed minutes to a number of his players when we visit Morpeth Town in the Buildbase FA Trophy...

The boss could welcome several members of his squad back into the fold... 'I’m not focusing so much on the players who need the rest, I’m more excited about the players who are going to be starting,' he said.

'Tuesday’s victory over Stockport was a real benchmark of what we want to do'...

One man who’s unlikely to play any part is Cal Roberts... 'We’re still trying to work out whether he’s getting inflammation from muscle-type injuries or whether it could be a knock-on effect from Covid, which he suffered quite badly with,' said the boss...

'Getting footage [of Morpeth] is much harder than usual, I can assure you!' said Ardley... 'The first challenge is that we’re expected to win. That itself puts the pressure on, so we’ve got to take Morpeth seriously and give them the respect they deserve'",

18 December 2020


The curse of bad weather which has affected virtually every home game this season for Altrincham means that Altrincham FC have decided that "After heavy rain in recent days, and another downpour overnight, Altrincham's Buildbase FA Trophy tie with Chester has been switched to the Deva Stadium...

"It was felt prudent to explore changing the venue to ensure the tie went ahead and to guard against a worsening fixture backlog having a detrimental effect on the team's prospects in the Vanarama National League later in the season...

"The game will be played behind closed doors, as it would have been at The J.Davidson Stadium, but it will be available to view by live stream. Chester are organising the stream and inform us it will be available at a price of £7.99, which will include an online match programme. They hope to have full details on how to place an order on their website later today".


Altrincham FC announce that they have "moved to solve Altrincham's defensive injury problems by snapping up accomplished young centre-back Harrison Holgate on a month's loan from Fleetwood Town.

Right: Harrison Holgate lines up at Moss Lane in October 2018, for Ashton United.

With Toby Mullarkey still at least a couple of weeks away from returning to fitness and pre-season signing Ritchie Sutton doubtful with a suspected broken big toe, Alty boss Parkinson was running short of options for tomorrow's FA Trophy tie with Chester...

Leeds-born Holgate... can perform with distinction at right-back as well as centre-half. [He] trained with his new Alty team-mates last night and is available for the Chester game. Though only 20-years old, he has already gained considerable first-team experience at Highbury Stadium after starting out at Manchester United's Academy and then joining Fleetwood's on a two-year scholarship in 2016".

Footnote: Harrison has played against Altrincham both for Stalybridge Celtic, in an EvoStik Premier match on 17 March 2018, and for Ashton United, in a Vanarama National League North match on 27 October 2018.

He signed professional forms at Fleetwood in 2018 having earlier that year had a loan spell at Stalybridge Celtic and, subsequently, a loan at Ashton United for a month later that year. Remarkably, Harrison will become the seventeenth new player to be involved with an Altrincham first-team squad this season (and that excludes others who have only been involved in the Cheshire Senior Cup).


Fifth face fifth as Altrincham of the National League face Chester FC of the National League North on Saturday, in the FA Trophy.

And it's one out and one in at our Cheshire neighbours as Chester FC "confirm that forward Matty Hughes has joined Lancaster City on a dual registration basis.

The 28 year-old joins the Northern Premier League side who sit in 12th place in the table... Hughes has made six appearances from the bench this term for the Blues. He has played 74 times for the club so far across three spells, scoring 13 times.

Joint Manager Anthony Johnson had this to say 'As we all know, Matty has had a horrific time over the last couple of years with various injuries which has meant his playing time has been limited. He came to see us and asked if he could go out and play games, as at this moment he was only getting small amounts of time on the pitch.

'That just shows the character and hunger of the lad that he’s determined to get back to where he was two years ago'".

And arriving at Chester FC is "Josh Askew initially on a non-contract basis.

Askew arrives at the Deva from National League North rivals Boston United, after the Blues issued seven days’ notice of approach last week.

The highly rated left-back links up with Joint Managers Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley for another spell, having been a part of their National League North title winning side at Salford City back in 2018.

22 year-old Askew was on loan at Curzon Ashton from the Ammies last term and came through the ranks at Blackburn Rovers. Josh made his first league appearance for Boston last week...

Jonno had this to say... 'When Joel left there was [sic] only ever two players on a list that we’d have taken as a replacement, the other being Matty Waters obviously... He fits exactly what we look for in a player: young, hungry and full of determination to want to play for Chester. He totally understands the predicament the club is in at the minute and has actually offered to play for FREE until we’re in a position to offer him something more concrete'".

ON THIS DAY: 18 December

It is sixteen years since Altrincham last played on today's date. That was in a Nationwide North game, played on Saturday, 18 December, 2004 against Southport, at Moss Lane. Alty won the match 2-1 in a richly entertaining game, which ended with Alty consolidating their sixth position thanks to goals by Rod Thornley and Colin Little.

Right: Full-backs Chris Adams and Steve Aspinall leave the pitch after another whole-hearted performance, against Southport.

After a pitch inspection at Moss Lane at 11.45 it was passed fit for play. But as the spectators arrived at the ground the sanded surface was still being worked on, with Alty Director Grahame Rowley prominent as he operated the manual mopping machine to great effect to ensure that play could go on. Before the match Rocky Robin made a seasonal appearance as the Altrincham mascot.

Southport had brought good numbers in support of their side and both sets of fans were in good voice. Altrincham's starters were unchanged, but Marcus Hallows had recovered sufficiently from the hamstring problem which had kept him out of that game to be on the bench, displacing Reserves' centre-back Adam Brindle. New signing Josh Mitten was starting a three-match suspension.

Alty took the lead after 21 minutes when a fine ball forward from Colin Potts, who had an excellent game, found Little who got round keeper Dickinson to the right of goal. Little managed to get the ball back, inside, to Thornley, who scored comfortably.

The Port started the second half strongly and got level thanks to a penalty conceded for a tackle on Mulvaney. Fearns converted the spot kick impressively (52 mins). The Alty winner came after 67 minutes when a good clearing header from Gary Talbot found Thornley who laid the ball off accurately to the right to Little. His well-placed shot from about 12 yards beat Dickinson and went in off the upright.

The game briefly threatened to boil over in the closing stages but Alty ran out deserved winners to gain revenge for their 2-1 loss at Haig Avenue earlier this season.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Stuart COBURN, 2. Steve ASPINALL, 3. Chris ADAMS. 4. Mark MADDOX, 5. Gary TALBOT, 6. Eddie HUSSIN (capt.), 7. Colin POTTS, 8. Val OWEN, 9. Colin LITTLE, 10. Rod THORNLEY, 11. Gary SCOTT. Subs: 12. Marcus HALLOWS, 14. Kieran LUGSDEN, 15. Sean SMITH, 16. Paul TILLEY, 17. George MELLING.


According to the Dorset Echo, "Shamir Mullings has left Weymouth with 'immediate' effect, the Terras have announced.

Mullings struggled for form and fitness during his short spell with Weymouth and was sent off in Tuesday night’s 3-2 loss to Wrexham for an alleged elbow. Weymouth's Director of Football said the striker, who failed to score in his stint, left on 'amicable' terms. He said 'We thought he would add a viable option for the club. He trained and got injured which meant he then missed another period and then we had the second lockdown. He’s not really regained his full fitness; a lot of the players are still feeling the effects from Covid.

'He’s just not built up to speed as quickly as we need him to. Sham himself is disappointed it’s ended the way it has. We felt it was best for all concerned he went on to pastures new. Sometimes for players it just doesn’t work... That will allow us to make some movement (in the player market), which we’re hoping to do'...

Maitland condemned the treatment Mullings received from some fans... 'I don’t think he deserved to be booed off and to be chanted to be sent off,' Maitland said. 'That was disappointing. I understand their frustration, what they may believe as their rationale to do that. At the end of the day, the player is a human being, same as them, and that’s a disappointing way to treat anybody. That has no influence on why the decision was taken.'”

Wealdstone report that they "and Eastleigh are spared a reprieve of league action this weekend as they both begin their FA Trophy campaign.

The Stones famously won this competition in 1985, becoming the first team to complete the 'non-league double' of the Conference title and FA Trophy; Eastleigh have never got further than the quarter-finals, which they reached in 2014.

These two sides previously met only last month where the Spitfires ran out 2-0 winners at their Silverlake Stadium. Eastleigh are coming to Grosvenor Vale off the back of a two-week isolation period following a COVID outbreak at the club.

Stones lost Michael Phillips to injury in last weekend's 2-1 win over Weymouth, he joins Ross Lafayette, Connor Stevens, Moses Emmanuel and Danny Parish on the injured list, although Stones were buoyed by the return of Jacob Mendy to the squad in the 2-1 win, Dan Wishart made a return to the squad via the subs bench, whilst Ashley Charles has joined Concord Rangers on a month's loan."

Aldershot Town tell us that "Ahead of our FA Trophy 3rd Round tie against Welwyn Garden City, we would like to remind our own fans of the following circumstances at this moment in time:

As a result of current Government guidelines, there will be NO away tickets available for Aldershot Town fans due to the current regulations, where we are considered an ‘elite’ club playing at a ‘non-elite’ club’s ground at Herns Way.

We are naturally disappointed that we are not able to have any of our fans at our FA Trophy game on Saturday, but we hope our fans adhere to current Government guidelines to ensure everyone’s health & safety remains the top priority".

The Halifax Courier tells us that "Town boss Pete Wild could be left with just two strikers for Saturday’s FA Trophy clash with Hartlepool at The Shay. By Tom Scargill

Jake Hyde limped out of Town’s 2-1 defeat at Solihull on Tuesday with a hamstring injury, and is doubtful for this Saturday. It wasn’t clear whether Nyal Bell, who is on loan from Stockport, will be allowed to play for Town in the FA Trophy by his parent club.

That could leave Gevaro Nepomuceno and Jamie Allen as Wild’s only options up-front, unless a new face can be added to his squad over the next couple of days.

Wild is open to possibly extending Bell’s loan deal. He said 'He’s getting better, he hasn’t played a lot of football before he came here, sporadic bursts of football, so some weeks you’re going to see some really good stuff and other weeks you might not see the best of him. I was hoping Jake Hyde would help him get better and better and unfortunately that didn’t happen on Tuesday.'

Allen could come straight into the starting line-up against Hartlepool after recovering from a knee injury.

Wild said 'He should be back in contention for Saturday'...

On the first of three games with Hartlepool on consecutive Saturdays, Wild said 'I’m looking forward to it, we’ve got to keep our style, keep our culture right and go into Saturday full of hope and expectation... We all know why we didn’t have a run in the FA Cup, because we all had Covid,' said Wild...

'We’re looking to try and impose ourselves on Saturday and make sure we do well in the competition... There were some absolutely shocking tackles on Tuesday night that went unpunished and I need to see how my boys are before I decide on what I do for Saturday'...

Wild says midfielder Rueben Noble-Lazarus is still part of his plans, despite him not featuring for the club so far this season. 'He’s struggled to get match sharpness'... And on midfielder Kian Spence, whose loan at Scarborough expires on January 1, Wild said... 'He’s been training with us every day, he looks sharp, he looks ready actually'".

17 December 2020


In the Sale & Altrincham Messenger, John Edwards writes that "Phil Parkinson was left angry and frustrated after a scything two-footed challenge added winger Ryan Colclough to a growing Altrincham injury list at Dagenham & Redbridge on Saturday.

Barely 24 hours after signing a new 18-month contract, Colclough was stretchered off with what was initially thought to be a broken leg, following a challenge that went unpunished by the referee.

An improvement in his condition, as he awaits a scan, has raised hopes it may be ligament damage, rather than a break...

Right: Jake Moult

'Like the players, I was unhappy with the challenge,' said the Alty boss after his side’s fourth 1-0 away win of the season. 'We have had a few of those [bad injuries] this year, when you think of Sean Williams, Simon Richman and Toby Mullarkey. The lad went in two-footed, and I don’t understand what I’m seeing. You get pulled up for the littlest contact, yet some tackles like that one seem to be let go.

'Fortunately, we are showing we have the resilience to cope, but we do seem to be on the receiving end, and it is frustrating to have to count how many fit bodies we’ve got virtually every week.

'We will see who is fit and able to play for this weekend’s big FA Trophy tie, one we are desperate to win, but the squad is strong and deep, and that’s how we have managed to get by so far.'

Skipper Jake Moult scrambled home the winner from close range... 'Jake deserves more moments like that, where people recognise what he does for us, because it’s all about the team with him, rather than himself,' said the boss. 'He is completely selfless but so important to us.

'Our position in the table shows you reap what you sow. We are working really hard, and if we can maintain those levels and get players back from injury, we can be in and around the middle-to-top end of the table'" concluded the manager.


On Saturday Altrincham renew their acquaintance with Chester FC, whom they knocked out of the promotion play-offs earlier this year.

On Tuesday night, Chester FC "advanced in the FA Trophy with a positive performance and comfortable victory over Bradford (Park Avenue) at the Deva Stadium.

A goal in each half, a header from George Waring and spot kick from Anthony Dudley, made the tie safe, before Will Goodwin put the icing on the cake with his first senior goal late on. Lewis Knight scored a stoppage time consolation for BPA.

The result ensured the Blues will visit Altrincham in Round Three this Saturday...

Chester had the ascendancy for most of the [first] half... A great run down the left from teenager Will Goodwin saw him craft a chance for himself... forcing Huffer to tip the ball behind. However, Bern and Jonno’s side did hit the front just a minute later. Great work from Weeks saw him advance to the byline and hang up a superb cross for Waring to nod home his second of the campaign.

Weeks was at the forefront of the Chester dominance, and could have doubled the lead... Just prior to the hour mark though, the Seals did get their well deserved second goal.

Hard work initially down the left from Goodwin paved the way, he cut the ball back for Dudley who was bundled to the ground by Luke Lyons. The forward dusted himself down and took the pen, sending Huffer the wrong way to double the advantage...

Right: John Johnston might face his former team on Saturday but on Tuesday he as an unused substitute.

The second half became a quiet affair, with Chester dominating much of the proceedings. They were also able to introduce 18-year-old Youth team captain Harrison Burke for his senior debut. The thriving Youth Academy would have been delighted... to witness its newest graduate in Will Goodwin seal the tie with two minutes to play...

BPA did get a consolation goal late on and spoil the Chester clean sheet...

Chester FC: Gray, K Roberts, Lacey, Grand, Morgan, Jackson (Elliott 84), Clark, Weeks (Burke 80), Dudley, Waring (Marsh-Hughes 63), Goodwin. Subs not used: Livesey, Glendon, Johnston, Bauress.

Cheshire Live adds that "Gary Roberts is leaving Chester FC with the best wishes of managers Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley.

The 33 year-old is moving on after receiving an offer for a contract to take him to the end of next season.

Roberts, from Blacon, initially joined the club on a short-term deal in January 2018, and has impressed Morley and Johnson not only with his undoubted ability but also his attitude. But he was behind George Glendon, Declan Weeks and Paddy Lacey for a place in the side this season so the management have no problems with the former Crewe, Port Vale, Mansfield and Rotherham midfielder looking for regular football and a longer deal at another, as yet unnamed, club.

Johnson said 'Gary has had an approach and they have offered him a deal that he felt he couldn’t turn down. It is a deal for next year as well... We didn’t want to lose him, he wasn’t on the transfer list'...

The former England under-18 captain spoke last year about the disciplinary and addiction issues he suffered in his career but said Johnson and Morley brought the best out of him... Johnson added... 'We have never had one ounce of trouble with him, he’s never turned up late, never missed a session, never had any of the legendary excuses that he has come up with over the years. He has been brilliant to work with so we wish him nothing but luck and happiness in his future and his career'".

The Telegraph & Argus adds that "Bradford (Park Avenue) battled hard throughout and had their chances, but they bowed out of the FA Trophy last night after a 3-1 defeat at Chester... The game was played in front of a small crowd too, the first spectators at a competitive Avenue match since March.

The home side went ahead through a George Waring header early on, before an Anthony Dudley penalty doubled their lead on the hour mark.

A late Will Goodwin goal sealed victory, although Lewis Knight did pull back a consolation for Avenue in injury-time.

The visitors gave a debut to teenage goalkeeper Will Huffer, while there was a first start for new midfielder Regan Booty... Huffer made his first error just before the break, when he came to punch a corner away but missed the ball... with Avenue left hanging on by the break.

Right-back Jordan Windass picked up a knock in the first half, and was replaced by Nicky Clee at the interval, forcing Luke Lyons back into defence and Mark Ross to move over to full-back...

After the game, Bradford’s assistant manager Danny Boshell said 'The players are still learning the game and learning this level, but I’m proud of our efforts tonight.'

It is Chester then that will visit a strong Altrincham side in the third round this Saturday".

ON THIS DAY: 17 December

Four years ago today, Altrincham travelled to Edgeley Park for a Vanarama National League North match, which they lost 3-0.

Despite a run of six successive league defeats, Altrincham supporters arrived at Edgeley Park with a modicum of optimism after an encouraging display in the FA Trophy win at Blyth seven days earlier. And the re-signing of crowd favourite Nicky Clee, as well as the signing of the experienced Gary Jones and young defender Kyle Brownhill had lifted the spirits to some extent.

Above: Alty at Edgeley Park, 17 December 2016.

Altrincham had signed Gary Jones, Kyle Brownhill and Nicky Clee in the days running up to this match but only Jones started, with the other two on the bench. They were without the injured Simon Richman, John Cyrus and Greg Wilkinson. So the only change to the starting eleven from last Saturday at Blyth was that Jones replaced Richman.

But Altrincham could have no complaints as they sank their seventh successive league defeat and found themselves 13 points away from safety in the table.

Altrincham started fairly well but County soon got the upper hand, though their opening goal owed everything to a very dubious decision from the junior of the assistant referees who failed to flag what looked to be an offside Lloyd. The Stockport man was allowed to play on and finished well with a shot, from the left, past Deasy in the 26th minute.

Alty made a double change at the break with McDonald coming on for Goodall and Clee for Hobson, both the replaced players having received yellow cards in the first half. But the visitors failed to trouble the home defence whilst County wrapped up the points when Ross headed home a fine cross from Ball in the 77th minute. County could have added more before they finally did so in the first added minute when Minihan rifled home a shot from right of goal.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Tim DEASY, 2. Shaun DENSMORE (capt), 3. Andy McWILLIAMS, 4.Jake MOULT, 5. Tom HANNIGAN, 6. Alan GOODALL, 7. Sam PATTERSON, 8. Gary JONES, 9. Craig HOBSON, 10. Sean MILLER, 11. James LAWRIE. Subs 12. Damian REEVES, 14 Nicky CLEE, 15. Clayton McDONALD, 16. Sam HEATHCOTE, 17. Kyle BROWNHILL.


In its midweek review, the National League records that that there were "eight sides in action as the leaders suffered an unexpected blip... Torquay United slipped to a 1-0 home defeat to brave ten man Dagenham & Redbridge.

The Daggers had it all to do after Mitch Brundle was red-carded five minutes before half-time. But the Londoners held onto the lead given to them by Paul McCallum...

Neal Ardley hailed his Notts County team’s self-belief after beating promotion rivals Stockport County... Jake Reeves’s first-half effort took Notts back to third and Ardley beamed 'I challenged the boys at the weekend to say that we’ve got one of the best teams in the league ability wise'...

Wrexham showed they are up for a fight this season as they came back from the dead to break Weymouth hearts. Going 2-0 down inside 26 minutes... Adi Yussuf, Theo Vassell and last-gasp Reece Hall-Johnson all struck to earn a huge three points.

Solihull Moors also came from behind, they beat in-form FC Halifax 2-1... as Kyle Hudlin snatched the winner to keep Jimmy Shan’s side in touch."

Stockport County A> "fell to a disappointing 1-0 defeat at Notts County, with midfielder Jake Reeves’ first-half strike enough to separate the two sides in a cagey affair at Meadow Lane.

After last week’s impressive double-header in London with wins over Bromley and Barnet on the road, boss Jim Gannon opted for two changes to the side which started at The Hive, with Ash Palmer returning from injury to slot in at the back, whilst Mark Kitching started...

[Ex-Alty man] James Jennings and brother Connor both dropped out of the starting eleven, although the latter did take a place on the substitutes’ bench.

Alex Reid, very much the man in form for The Hatters with five goals in his last five outings prior to the trip to Meadow Lane, went close to extending that run inside the opening minute... The game ebbed and flowed throughout the opening exchanges...

After half an hour which continued to go end-to-end, the opening goal came by way of a defensive mix-up when Jordan Williams tracked back but was dispossessed inside his own area by Richard Brindley, who was left with the simplest of tasks to roll the ball across goal for Reeves to slot past Hinchliffe.

It was a lead which Notts deservedly maintained as they looked the stronger of the two sides for the remainder of the half up until the break, after which County opted for a double change, with Jordan Keane and Mark Kitching replaced by Adam Thomas and Connor Jennings for the resumption of proceedings.

The Hatters struggled to test their hosts for much of the second half... as time ran out for a leveller against a well-drilled Notts County side".

From the other side, Notts County relive a "big win against promotion rivals Stockport County...

Neal Ardley made one change to the side that was beaten by Boreham Wood last time out, with Ruben Rodrigues returning to the starting XI in place of Tom Walker. The Portuguese lined up behind front man Kyle Wootton, with Jim O'Brien and Enzio Boldewijn flanking midfield pair Reeves and Michael Doyle...

There was nothing Hinchcliffe could do 10 minutes from half-time as we broke the deadlock with a well-worked goal... Wootton... laid it on a plate for Reeves to apply a composed finish and send us into the break ahead.

Stockport boss Jim Gannon, who had altered his side's shape in the first half, made two changes at the break in a bid to spark a recovery... Clear-cut chances proved hard to come by in a closely-contested second half... as we saw the rest of the match out in a thoroughly professional manner".

Weymouth "let a two goal lead fall through their fingers as they fell to Wrexham 3-2 with the last kick of the game.

Brian Stock made two changes following Saturday’s 2-1 defeat away at Wealdstone as Ollie Harfield and Calvin Brooks replace Myles Anderson and Brennan Camp.

The Terras got off to a flying start, scoring in the 3rd minute... Captain and birthday boy Josh McQuoid directed the ball goal bound beyond Rob Lainton.

Elliot Durrell got close to bringing the Red Dragons back into the game in the tenth minute. The number seven unleashed a drilled shot from twenty five yards out... The ball fizzed through the players and went wide of Jack Bycroft’s right post...

The Terras were pressuring the Wrexham backline and extended their lead in the twenty fifth minute from a corner. Sean Shields’s ball in was met by Jake McCarthy. The midfielder’s bullet header went beyond Lainton... New signing Zaid Al-Hussaini was looking sharp...

Wrexham started the second half the stronger of the two sides.... The Terras were looking to keep the win by playing a defensive game in the second half and conceded a goal in seventy third minute. Theo Vassell heading in from a corner.

It was a case of deja vu for the Terras as a lapse in concentration led to an equaliser a minute later, as was the case against Dagenham last weekend. Vassell bagged his brace when he struck the ball with his left foot across the goal.

It was backs to the wall for the Terras in the final ten minutes. Wrexham were close to a winner...

Mullings was shown a straight red card for an off the ball incident with Young. The referee had to consult his linesman before sending the striker off... Wrexham ran down the other end and scored the winner in the ninety fifth minute. Reece Hall-Johnson’s right footed cross caught Bycroft out and it floated beyond the goalkeeper.

Tempers were heated after the final whistle and Stock was shown a red card. Weymouth lost 3-2".

At Torquay United "manager Gary Johnson was left frustrated, after seeing his side fail to take their chances in the 1-0 home defeat against Dagenham & Redbridge on Tuesday evening...

'We hit the crossbar from the corner, and they went up the other end and scored their only opportunity in the game,' said Johnson. 'I don’t think there were any other opportunities. The lad does well, we lost him, and that’s that clever ‘fox in the box’ if you like, that someone who knows what he’s good at, and can lose you.

'First half, I thought we were poor, and didn’t really get to grips with their wide men... We gave them oxygen with some of the silly mistakes and opportunities we were missing. Obviously the lad got sent off, and at that point we thought just a bit of quality would win the day. We got quality into the box, but couldn’t finish any one of our chances...

'I don’t know how many chances there were; twenty, maybe. That’s the disappointing thing, the fact that we were camped in their half. I know we had a man extra, but I thought we were using the ball quite well up until the penalty area, but then we couldn’t finish...

'It was just a ridiculous game of how many six yard box chances that we had. We’re in tomorrow... I’ve let them know how I feel, and we’ll see how they react...

'We’ve seen it when teams come here and score the first goal, it’s very difficult to break them down, because they are not in any grandeur [sic] that they are going to come out and get the second goal and leave space. It’s the time wasting that is always disappointing. You accept it because you know that that’s what teams are going to do, and we’ve got to quicken it up when they are trying to slow it up. That is the frustrating part, when opposition teams go 1-0 up and sit back, they have the right to, but it’s taking their time over everything all of a sudden, and the crowd aren’t getting value for money'...

'We’ve got the Trophy, and we’ve got a little bit of time before the next game, but Yeovil will also be good at what they do, the "dark arts" if you want to call them that, so we’ll have to see what they do when they turn up'" concluded Johnson.

Torquay United add that "With suspension and injury robbing Gary Johnson of the services of Asa Hall and Sam Sherring respectively, the United boss was forced to shuffle his pack by bringing Matt Buse and Gary Warren back into the starting line-up. On the bench, midfielder Armani Little made a welcome return following injury, with young left-back Owen Price the other new addition to the matchday squad.

United, roared on by some passionate support from the stands, enjoyed the better of the opening stages... The visitors hit them with a sucker-punch on 14 minutes...McCallum, the former Gulls loanee, gleefully taking up the opportunity to power his header past MacDonald and into the net".

FC Halifax Town "fell to a 2-1 defeat away to Solihull Moors... A first half goal from Martin Woods was cancelled out by James Ball before a wonder striker from Kyle Hudlin settled the result.

Halifax immediately started on the front foot... Despite only having ten men on the pitch, due to Jake Hyde’s injury, Town took the lead. A free kick routine got Summerfield just outside the box, his cross came in and Woods got his head to it to make it 1-0 to the Shaymen.

Just two minutes later and Solihull Moors made it level... The ball fell to Ball who hit a powerful strike past Sam Johnson...

Town started the second half stronger... Three successive corners were put behind by Solihull defenders. The fourth found its way to Jeff King on the edge of the box but his shot went comfortably wide..

Solihull got their second of the game in the 56th minute. A long ball fell to the feet of Hudlin. A good turn from the striker and his shot found the top corner...

The result sees the Shaymen drop to 16th on goal difference".

From the other side, Solihull Moors tell us that "Kyle Hudlin’s second-half thunderbolt lit up the stadium and secured a vital three points for Moors... It was an incredible strike that deserved more than just a ripple of applause from the few in attendance, a standing ovation would have been far more fitting for such a show stopper.

But no doubt the 20 year-old will take great satisfaction in knowing his first-ever National League goal was pivotal in securing a valuable win for his side.

After a low key-start to proceedings, the game suddenly burst into life with two goals in the space of three first-half minutes. First to strike were the away side who caught the home side napping from a set-piece... Ball then made immediate amends for giving away the free-kick for Halifax’s opener, the midfielder smashing home a ferociously driven shot from just inside the area...

If Ball’s goal was good, then Hudlin’s strike was spectacular, the forward bringing the ball down and hitting an absolute screamer in off the angle from 25 yards out".

From Dagenham & Redbridge we learn that "Despite playing the entire second-half with 10 men, Paul McCallum’s 14th-minute header for the Daggers was enough for them to claim three points against the league leaders at Plainmoor...

The Daggers took the lead when Myles Weston’s dangerous cross was emphatically headed in by McCallum... The Daggers were reduced to 10 men with just under five minutes to go in the first-half when Mitch Brundle was shown a straight red card...

Somehow, the hosts failed to draw level with arguably their best opportunity of the evening right at the end of the game a corner into the area was volleyed wide from Ben Whitfield... Despite the man disadvantage, the Daggers managed to hold on for a huge victory against the league leaders handing Torquay their first loss in 11 league outings".

16 December 2090


Last Tuesday's postponed game for Altrincham at home to Woking has been rearranged for Tuesday, 19 January and will now be a 7pm kick off to facilitate travelling for The Cards.


When Altrincham played at Dagenham last Saturday, 773 home supporters were able to watch the game. But just days later the moving of Dagenham into the highest tier of Covid restrictions leads Dagenham & Redbridge to announce that "In accordance with the new Tier 3 restrictions imposed on London from 0:01am on Wednesday morning, supporters will regrettably now not be allowed to attend Saturday’s Buildbase FA Trophy 3rd Round game."


Altrincham dropped one place to fifth following Notts County's win over Stockport County. In a league of great disparity in terms of games played by clubs, on PPG Altrincham lie twelfth.

Tuesday 15 December 2020

  • Eastleigh P-P Hartlepool United [Covid at Eastleigh]
  • Notts County 1-0 Stockport County
  • Solihull Moors 2-1 FC Halifax Town
  • Torquay United 0-1 Dagenham & Redbridge
  • Wealdstone P-P Dover Athletic [Covid at Dover ]
  • Weymouth 2-3 Wrexham


Chester FC ensured that they would be Altrincham's opponents this Saturday at the J Davidson Stadium, in the FA Trophy, after defeating Bradford (Park Avenue) on Tuesday night. Luca Havern played for the Yorkshiremen and Nicky Clee came on as a sub and played well but Chester won 3-1.

Selected FA Trophy results:

  • Chester FC 3-1 Bradford (Park Avenue)
  • Ashton United 3-3 York City (Ashton won 4-2 on pens)
  • Curzon Ashton 1-4 AFC Fylde


In the FA Trophy, Jack Redshaw scored for York City in normal time then missed a penalty in the shoot-out at the end of the game as the Minstermen went out 4-2 on penalties after a 3-3 draw in the game itself.

Carl Piergianni also had an one/off evening as he scored at both ends for Oldham Athletic, who lost to Walsall, and Luke Waterfall was sent off as Grimsby lost at Southend United.

And another ex-Alty centre-back Ben Harrison scored as Witton were thumped at home 2-5 by Nantwich Town.

Owen Dale continued his goalscoring run with another for Crewe Alexandra.

ON THIS DAY: 16 December

Altrincham last four fixtures on today's date have all been goalless draws!

Above: On a murky, wet day at Cantilever Park, the sides wait to come onto the pitch before kick-off.

The most recent was an FA Trophy 1st Round tie at Warrington Town in 2017. Alty lost the replay at Moss Lane, 1-2.

Simon Richman returned from suspension but Mason Walsh was serving his one-match ban. Josh Hancock was ill (flu), but James Poole returned from injury.

After their goalless draw in the league earlier this season, the two sides again produced another goalless stalemate, with little in the way of goalmouth action. And, once again, the pre-match conditions were wet and the game was played on a cold and dull afternoon. In short, a day best forgotten!

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Tony THOMPSON, 2. Shaun DENSMORE, 3. Connor HAMPSON, 4. Tom HANNIGAN, 5. Ben HARRISON, 6. Jake MOULT (c), 7. John JOHNSTON, 8. Simon RICHMAN, 9. Jordan HULME, 10. James POOLE, 11. Tom PEERS. Subs 12. Max HARROP, 14. James JONES, 15. Sean MILLER, 16. Joel BEMBO-LETA, 17. Sam SHERIDAN.


Barnet have announced "the appointment of Tim Flowers as the Club's new First Team Manager.

Flowers joins the Bees with significant experience both on the pitch and in the dugout during his career. The former England international goalkeeper most recently managed fellow Vanarama National League side Solihull Moors.

The former Premier League winner has also enjoyed success as a manager, most notably at the Moors...

Flowers was recently appointed manager at Macclesfield Town before their sad liquidation at the beginning of the season. He now joins the Bees hoping to instil that winning mentality that he had on the pitch as a goalkeeper, as well as the successful culture he brought to the Moors in the 2018-19 season.

The 53 year-old now joins the Club with immediate effect...

Chairman Tony Kleanthous said 'It is quite obvious that the Club has been on a downward spiral since our relegation from the Football League. It is time for us to address this decline and make a notable appointment of an experienced and determined manager, who will instil a winning mentality.'

New Manager Tim Flowers said... 'It is a Club of rich tradition and I can’t wait to get started. It is a community club, who need the supporters back at the heart of it and I intend to bring the success that they deserve. Looking from the outside, it is a Club that needs galvanising... There are things that need changing, the results speak for themselves. I still believe we can make a fist of this season but we must act immediately and begin to turn this season around...

'I will be bringing one member of staff with me'".

In advance of the game on Tuesday night, Weymouth reported that "boss Brian Stock stressed the 'vital' need of points as the Terras prepare to host Hollywood-linked Wrexham tonight...

The Red Dragons have struggled to make strides on the pitch and lie in 13th, some 10 points and nine places above the promoted Terras. With four league losses on the bounce, former Wales international midfielder Stock is seeking to stem the bad tide of results, the latest a 2-1 loss at Wealdstone on Saturday.

He told Echosport 'We’ll be going into (Wrexham) with quite a few players missing but we can take a lot of positives against Dagenham with 10 men. We’ve only been beaten by one goal on that occasion and only one goal (at Wealdstone) albeit with some heroic saves...

'Hopefully we’ll put that poor run of games behind us and focus, because it’s vital we start putting points on the board.'

Cam Murray could return from concussion, Ollie Harfield (ankle) is likely to miss out while Calvin Brooks (knee) plus Andreas Robinson (hip) are doubts.

Stock added... 'We’re missing eight players from a 24-man squad; we’re stretched to the bare bones. I was glad we had no injuries (at Wealdstone)... Cam will hopefully be able to play... Ollie rolled his ankle v. Dagenham and carried on, he didn’t think he did much damage. It’s swollen... Calvin’s similar with his knee. The stress of having 10 men against Dagenham took its toll on two or three players.

'Robbo looks like he’s going to be out, he’s got a problem with his hip flexor'”

15 December 2020


Altrincham FC sports therapist Tommy Uda has provided the an "update on how the club's lengthy list of injured players is progressing". Those concerned are:
  1. Sean Williams
  2. Toby Mullarkey
  3. Connor Hampson (right)
  4. Dan Mooney
  5. Fisayo Adarabioyo
  6. Byron Harrison
  7. Jamie McDonald
  8. Ritchie Sutton
  9. Ryan Colclough


Dagenham & Redbridge have highlights of their defeat by Altrincham last Saturday.


Over last weekend, a number of ex-Alty players/loanees netted for their EFL clubs; Duncan Watmore for Middlesbrough, Owen Dale for Crewe Alexandra and Carl Piergianni for Oldham Athletic.


Altrincham FC co-chairman Bill Waterson writes...

"The ongoing uncertainty throughout the pandemic has deeply affected the Altrincham FC Community company and the many projects that we deliver for the local community.

Fundraising and the support from Barclays in the form of them matching every £1 we raise will help ensure we are able to continue the valuable work we do in and around Altrincham and support our local community at this very difficult time.

Please buy tickets for an amazing raffle and win some fantastic prizes. You can buy raffle tickets here

Online Raffle - £10 to enter (prizes listed below)

  • 1) Marcus Rashford Signed Shirt – Kindly Donated by Marcus Rashford MBE
  • 2) Framed Gazza England Shirt
  • 3) Signed Dennis Law Man United Polo Shirt
  • 4) Signed Man United Squad Ball – Kindly Donated by MUFC Foundation
  • 5) Signed Altrincham FC Squad Shirt - Kindly donated by Altrincham FC
  • 6) Framed & Signed Martin Peters England Shirt – Kindly donated by CAFT
  • 7) Libero Gift Set – Kindly donated by Libero
  • 8) Meal voucher - Kindly donated by La Famiglia
  • 9) Case of 6 bottles of Red Wine
  • 10) Case of 6 bottles of White wine

Thank you for your support".

ON THIS DAY: 15 December

On the last two occasions that Altrincham have played on today's date, they have been playing FA Trophy First Round matches. In 2018 they lost 1-0 at Edgeley Park against Stockport County but, three years earlier, they drew 1-1, setting in train a saga of postponements to the replay which was finally played on the sixth proposed date!.

The original midweek tie on 15 December 2015 had also had to be rearranged after the Moss Lane pitch had been waterlogged the preceding Saturday (just like in 2020!)

Above: Leamington keeper Tony Breeden (dark shorts) and a defender are on their knees as Alty celebrate their goal. Seven minutes later Breeden's long kick led to the Brakes' equalizing goal.

In the game in 2015, with Altrincham leading 1-0 and with less than 14 minutes remaining, a mistake by left-back Adam Griffin gifted Leamington an equalizer and ensured that Altrincham would have a crowded Christmas schedule.

Following an Alty corner, Leamington keeper Breedon collected the ball and kicked upfield. Griffin missed the ball, allowing substitute Ogleby, who had literally just joined the game, a clear run at exposed goalkeeper Tim Deasy whom he beat with his shot.

Altrincham had taken the lead in the 70th minute when Breeden failed to hold a Rankine shot and Damian Reeves netted the loose ball. Earlier an Alty effort by James Lawrie had stuck in the soft pitch as it was about to cross the line after evading Breeden and Jordan Sinnott had also hit the post with a fine shot as Alty put in an improved second-half performance.

ALTRINCHAM: 17. Tim DEASY, 20. Jordan SINNOTT, 5. Luca HAVERN (capt), 6. Scott LEATHER, 3. Adam GRIFFIN, 4. Jake MOULT, 8. Simon RICHMAN, , 19. Ryan CROWTHER, 7. James LAWRIE, 9. Michael RANKINE, 10. Damian REEVES. Subs 11. Nicky CLEE, 23. Callum WILLIAMS, 18. George BOWERMAN, 24. Rhain DAVIS, 12. Sam HEATHCOTE,


The NW Counties Football League announces that "Following the FA Statement recently issued with regard to a limited return of spectators for Clubs in Tier 3 areas, the League Management Committee have agreed that the season shall recommence on Saturday 19th December 2020.

Fixtures have recently been updated... and clubs have been informed...

Clubs have been advised to ensure that they comply fully with the DCMS and FA requirements contained in the FA’s statement. We continue to urge all supporters who are attending games to follow the clubs' safety arrangements and to enjoy the games, safely".


Woking "play Dover Athletic on Saturday in The Buildbase FA Trophy 3rd Round, and we are hopeful that Cards fans will be able to attend and give the team the same fantastic support they showed against Hartlepool United.

With the Government's review of the tiers taking place on Wednesday, we have decided not to start selling tickets until Thursday, should we be allowed to do so. This is to avoid having to issue refunds should Woking be placed in a tier 3 area, or if fans elsewhere end up now being in a tier 3 area...

The ticket price will be a flat rate of £10... The match will be streamed live... priced at £10".

Before their meeting, "After two defeats, Wrexham are keen to get back to winning ways, but Weymouth's need for three points is more pressing.

Last season, Weymouth completed a long journey back to the top level of non-league football after suffering crippling financial issues, Even that fine achievement came with attending [attendant] problems, as the COVID-19 outbreak meant they didn't actually secure their place in the National League top tier until August, when they beat Dartford on penalties in the final of the rearranged play-offs.

Going up at such short notice has naturally meant that the season so far has been a struggle, with one shining exception!

On Hallowe'en, Weymouth pulled off a superb victory, claiming all three points from a trip to promotion favourites Stockport County. A fortnight earlier they had enjoyed a home win at the expense of fellow newly-promotion side King's Lynn. However, these [are the only] two victories The Terras have enjoyed so far this season, and they go into the game off the back of 4 consecutive defeats. The only other point they've picked up was from a goalless draw at Altrincham on the opening day of the season, and that remains the only clean sheet they've managed to keep in the campaign".

Weymouth remind us that "Conceding just before half-time in the 2-1 defeat to Wealdstone was the 'killer blow' for Weymouth, boss Brian Stock confessed.

Wealdstone sent the Terras to their fourth consecutive Vanarama National League loss with a fightback after Ben Thomson had put Weymouth ahead in the 25th minute.

The Stones started their comeback when Dennon Lewis netted in the 47th minute. It was the fourth occasion Weymouth have conceded in first-half stoppage-time this season after narrow defeats to Barnet, Woking and Chesterfield.

And Weymouth made a poor start to the second half as Jack Cawley headed what proved to be the winner less than three minutes into the latter period.

The inopportune timing of the goals rankled Stock, who told Echosport... 'The goal just before half-time, it’s the killer blow. We need experience, voices, we need to understand to clear our lines effectively. We are causing our own downfall at the moment, conceding poor goals and having to work really hard to score them ourselves...

'Not only that, when we did concede, we looked vulnerable to concede again, which is a concern after what happened (against) Dagenham... It’s one I as manager need to look at and understand the reasons why we’re conceding at those sorts of times and maybe implement something for the lads to concentrate right until the whistle...

'That winning mentality, that experience, is lacking to try and see out games. Communication has been poor...

Stock also praised the contribution of Thomson... 'Thommo’s been fantastic coming into the side the last two games,' Stock said.

'He’s led the line very well, held it up, chased lost causes and got on the scoresheet'">

Torquay United "manager Gary Johnson is calling on the Yellow Army to assist his table-topping side, as they look to secure another vital three points against Dagenham & Redbridge at Plainmoor [on Tuesday] night.

'The name of the game this week, as the boys were a bit disappointed with their performance at King’s Lynn, is that Yellow Army needs to be out in force for us tomorrow,' said Johnson.

'We just need that extra bit of oomph (motivation) that can only come from the Yellow Army'...

Saturday’s encounter at King’s Lynn may not have produced the win that The Gulls craved, however it did further stretch United’s unbeaten run, and saw them extend their lead at the top of the National League to six points...

'We’re still unbeaten in 11 games, and if people were to say after 13 games that we would have won 10, drawn 2 and lost 1, we’d have bit [sic] their hands off, or said that’s not possible!... We’ve got to stay positive and carry on regardless.'

Although Dagenham’s 1-0 home defeat to Altrincham on Saturday did little to assist a side that have won only three of their opening twelve fixtures, impressive wins over Boreham Wood, Wealdstone and League Two side Grimsby in the FA Cup, as well as a defiant ten-man draw at 2nd placed Sutton, is further proof of the strength of the division this season...

'Although they had a poor result at home to Altrincham, who are actually in very good form at the moment, Dagenham have some dangerous players, and once again we’ve got to make sure we’re aware of that. We need to make sure our dangerous players are heavily involved in the game.'”

The National League reports that "Mark Ives is to join The National League management team from early next month.

Ives's nearly two decades at The FA included the senior role of Head of Judicial Services.

The experienced executive has been appointed as The National League’s Interim General Manager from January on a three-month contract.

The National League will use the early part of 2021 to assess the management structure the organisation best needs following the imminent departure of its long-serving CEO, Michael Tattersall, at the end of this month."

NL Daily reports that"Chesterfield have confirmed the departure of attacking player Alex Kiwomya.

A previous loan player of the club, the 24-year-old rejoined the Spireites in October, with John Pemberton still in charge at the time.

Also leaving the National League club, albeit on a temporary basis, is striker Luke Rawson.

Rawson has joined Alfreton Town on a one-month loan deal".

Stockport County lament that "For the third game running, County are on the road this Tuesday as we head to Nottingham to take on promotion contenders Notts County at Meadow Lane, knowing a win would see us leapfrog the Magpies in the table.

The postponement of Saturday’s game against Sutton at Edgeley Park saw County lose further ground in the National League, as results elsewhere saw us slip out of the play-off places and into ninth place.

We do, however, have at least three games in hand on all the sides above us, and extraordinarily have played five games fewer than Bromley, Altrincham and Wealdstone. Tuesday’s game is one of those games in hand, meaning a win will move County above all those sides, and into third in the National League table...

Notts County currently sit two points above [Stockport] County having played three games more and will also be looking to leap back into third with a win...

Over the Summer, the Magpies set about trimming their expansive squad, with the most notable departee being former County striker Kristian Dennis...

In terms of incomings, Ruben Rodrigues has added goals from midfield since his move from Dutch club Den Bosch, whilst Belgian Elisha Sam has been brought in up front to replace the goals of Kristian Dennis.

Their main man, however, has once again been former Scunthorpe striker Kyle Wooton... Like County however, their title challenge got off to the worst possible start with defeat on opening day, going down 1-0 away at Dover Athletic.

Three straight wins with eight goals scored swiftly saw them back on track before Covid struck, with defeats at home to Maidenhead United and Aldershot falling either side of an enforced two-week break... Their form since then has been mixed as they look to regain form and fitness, with wins against Chesterfield, Woking and Wealdstone all sandwiched between dropped points against FC Halifax, Dagenham and, most recently, Boreham Wood, who came away from Meadow Lane with a 1-0 win last Tuesday.

That result means that, over a quarter of the way into the season, the side from Nottingham currently sit 12 points behind league leaders Torquay with a game in hand, meaning both sides come into this game desperate for three points".

14 December 2020


Phil Parkinson was interviewed by Brian Flynn after the win at Dagenham and this can be heard on the Altrincham FC website.

Altrincham lost a further two players to injury in their match at Dagenham on Saturday, to add to an already extensive list of players receiving treatment. The official Altrincham FC site has reported that the club "will discover more about Ryan Colclough’s injury tomorrow [Monday] but are hopeful he may have avoided the worst-case scenario of a broken leg... There were some positive signs today when it emerged he was able to put at least some weight on the injured leg... It does seem ligament damage has been sustained and is the least Alty can expect by way of a diagnosis...

Central defender Ritchie Sutton... may have broken his big toe or sprained a joint".


Alty entertain either Chester FC or Bradford (Park Avenue) next Saturday in the FA Trophy.

Last Saturday, in a game of three red cards, Chester FC "picked up their first away clean sheet of the campaign, as well as a solid point against ten man Boston in an eventful encounter.

Jordan Thewlis was sent off for the Pilgrims late on in what was an even game with plenty of chances created at both ends...

A Chester counter attack ended with Brad Bauress sweeping a ball across the box to the unmarked John Johnston at the back post but he was superbly denied by the reactions of Ross Fitzsimons.

Plenty of attempts were finding the target, but both goalkeepers were equal to the efforts...

While the action on the field was exciting, we had drama off it just a few minutes into the second 45. Boston’s First Team Coach Lee Stratford was sent off for pushing over Johnston on the touchline in trying to retrieve the ball. The Blues winger was also booked for his part...

A somewhat quiet second half on the field, but off the ball and off the field saw a further three red cards brandished by Referee Jon Kenny.

First, an off the ball incident ended with Thewlis being given his marching orders. A melee ensued in the dugout as well, which saw Blues Joint Boss Bernard Morley and Boston’s subbed midfielder Mitch Rose also seeing red.

Chester dominated the ball late on with the man advantage, and nearly won it on 88 minutes... [but] the spoils were shared.

Chester FC: Gray, K Roberts, Livesey, Grand, Morgan, Lacey (Dudley 82), Glendon, Weeks, Johnston, Elliott (Waring 90), Bauress (Jackson 70). Suns not used: G Roberts, Goodwin".

Meanwhile, Bradford (Park Avenue) lost 1-3 at home to Leamington on Saturday. On the eve of the game BPA reported that with "suspensions and injuries challenging our committed but small squad Mark Bower has moved to secure the services of local lad Regan Booty. 22 year old Booty who hails from Huddersfield, came through the Huddersfield Town academy. Booty made 42 appearances for Aldershot whilst on loan which won him his permanent transfer to Notts County.

He made 24 appearances for the last year's shortened season... The cultured left footed central midfielder enjoys dictating play, by getting on the ball and creating chances for his team mates".

Leamington report that "A visit to the Horsfall Stadium, though always looked forward to by Brakes fans due to the quality of the food on offer, had usually always ended in defeat in the past. No more though, as Paul Holleran’s side won here for the second season in succession...

The game was sparked into life by a moment of quality from the Vanarama National League North Player of the Month Sam Osborne... who killed the ball dead before turning back on himself and driving a low shot through a defender and the goalkeeper into the back of the net...

As the clock ticked into one added minute of additional time Leamington doubled their advantage with another direct attack... Maye strode on and confidently slotted low past Atkinson...

Avenue’s leading scorer Lewis Knight attempted to bend a shot into the top corner from some 20 yards out but his aim was off... The pacey frontman was in the thick of things... The goal Bradford’s second half pressure had been threatening arrived with little over 20 minutes remaining. Weaver came off his line again but was beaten to the ball by Brad Dockerty, who clipped his shot past the stranded keeper into an empty net.

However, just when it looked like Leamington would be in for an almighty battle to hold on to their lead, Osborne, who had a relatively quiet afternoon by his high standards, popped up with an astonishing goal to settle the nerves... unleashing a rocket of a shot that flew past the startled Atkinson...

Avenue’s debutant substitute Reagan Booty forced Weaver into another good save as he wound up a fierce strike from distance".

Paul Holleron, the Brakes' manager, observed that BPA "had a couple of players missing... I think because of the way they play, which is so open and expansive, you’ve got to counter well, and we didn’t. We kept giving the ball away cheaply and letting them on to us... The game didn’t go to 2-2 when it probably should have done, but we found a way back into the game...

Bradford (Park Avenue): Dan Atkinson, Mark Ross, Harry Boyes, Luke Lyons, Luca Havern (c), Jordan Windass (16 Tabish Hussain, 76), Omar Sanyang (14 Regan Booty, 46), Jake Hibbs, Brad Dockerty, Lewis Knight, Nicky Clee. Subs not used: Will Huffer, Matty Downing".

ON THIS DAY: 14 December

A year ago today, 14 December 2019, ALtrincham crossed the Pennines to face Farsley Celtic in a FA Trophy First Round tie, which ended 2-2. Alty lost the replay at Moss Lane, 1-2 after extra time.

New loan signing Ethan Walker (from Preston North End) had just joined the Altrincham squad and he made his debut on the left wing. John Johnston had gone off injured in Alty's previous game, at Bradford, so was missing for this match but centre-back Tom Hannigan, who had sat out last Saturday's defeat, returned to the starting eleven.

Toby Mullarkey replaced James Jones and Connor Hampson came on for Andy White, with both of the displaced players being on the bench. Youth team goalkeeper Liam Blackburn came into the squad in place of fellow youth keeper Joel Torrance.

Farsley's former Alty keeper Elliot Wynne had missed recent games through injury but he started today.

This FA Trophy match was played in filthy weather, especially in the first half, but it was referee Aspinall who ended the game as the main talking point with his bizarre handling of a second-half episode in which he blew his whistle before a Farsley man netted the ball.

Above: Both sets of players did well to produce a generally entertaining FA Trophy tie at Farsley. Alty had the worse of the conditions, playing into a first-half squally deluge of rain and hail, which abated for the second half.

He appeared to give the goal before a touchline discussion concluded with his resuming the match with an uncontested dropped ball to Alty and a no-goal decision!

Alty had got a perfect start as Williams's low cross found Hulme whose first effort was blocked by ex-Alty keeper Wynne, only for Hulme to poke the ball home from a prostrate position (2 mins).

Spencer levelled the score after 17 minutes with a low drive from the edge of the box.

Alty started the second half well and regained the lead after Wynne had sliced an attempted kick high ino the air. As it dropped, Hulme headed the ball towards the empty net but only found the inside of the post. Hulme reacted more quickly than the keeper to tap the ball over the line (57 mins).

Mr Aspinall's debacle occurred four minutes later but it was not until the 75th minute that Syers finally levelled the scores as he poked the ball through Thompson's legs after a corner

Footnote: Mr Aspinall was also involved in another strange incident involving Alty, in 2018. The start of a home match against Ashton United was delayed when he belatedly decided that the visiting keeper's top was too similar in colour to the outfield players' shirts. The other 21 players emerged and waited several minutes for a new jersey to be found before the game could start.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Tony THOMPSON, 2. Shaun DENSMORE, 3. Connor HAMPSON, 4. Toby MULLARKEY, 5. Tom HANNIGAN, 6. Jake MOULT (c), 7. Tom PEERS, 8. Sean WILLIAMS, 9. Jordan HULME, 10. Josh HANCOCK, 11. Ethan WALKER. Subs: 12. Max HARROP, 14. Luke WALL, 15. Simon RICHMAN, 16. James JONES, 17. Andy WHITE, 20. Liam BLACKBURN


Following their 6-0 defeat on Saturday, Barnet "can confirm that they have today (December 13th) parted company with manager Peter Beadle.

The Club would like to place on record its gratitude and thanks to Peter for all of his hard work during what has been a tough period for the Club. Peter is very much someone who will always be welcome at The Hive London and we wish him well for the future.

We will now look to make a swift appointment and the search for a new manager will begin immediately".

Footnote: Peter Beadle's career provides an interesting parallel with that of former Alty boss Neil Young. Both previously took phoenix clubs up in quick succession through the lower tiers of the footballing pyramid only to find less success managing at their subsequent club playing at a higher level. For Young it was Chester FC and then Altrincham, whilst for Beadle it was Hereford FC and then Barnet.

The Hartlepool Mail says that "It’s an all too familiar feeling. The positivity following Tuesday night’s 2-0 win over King’s Lynn Town has been promptly wiped out with a 3-0 defeat at Woking on Saturday afternoon.

The 799 home fans who returned to the Laithwaite Community Stadium for the first time since March were in for a treat at Pools’ expense as goals from Matt Jarvis, Jack Cook and Slavi Spasov saw The Cards run riot.

Not even a controversial sending off for Woking’s Max Kretzschmar deterred the home side as Hartlepool were out worked and out played by their part-time opponents as they dropped to 11th in the table.

Saturday’s heavy defeat wasn’t so much a reality check for Pools, they already got that against Torquay United eight games ago. This match proved the 5-0 defeat against Torquay wasn’t just an anomaly, it’s a sign of a serious problem for Pools.

During the opening week of the season, Pools were among the bookmakers’ favourites for the 2020-21 National League title. But 13 games in and it’s clear they’re still some way short of a number of teams; there’s a naivety in Pools' young squad and a distinct lack of consistency..

A failure to deal with crosses into the box saw Pools 2-0 down inside the opening 16 minutes. From there, they never really looked like getting back into the game as what few chances they were able to create went begging.

Dave Challinor’s side look the part when things are going their way but when they’re up against it, they tend to struggle and often implode.

Aside from their opening week win at Chesterfield, Pools have lost every game in which they have conceded first this season, six times in total.. It is something that risks condemning Pools to another season languishing as a mid-table side in the fifth tier of English football.

The side have now lost six of their last 10 games, scoring just seven goals and conceding 17. It’s a worrying run of form that would have probably cost previous managers their jobs under Raj Singh. But prior to that, Pools had lost just five of their 24 National League matches under Challinor...

It’s clear something needs to change at the club if they want to mount a serious challenge for the play-offs but it’s difficult to say what that could be without it costing the club serious money that they don’t have. Challinor’s contract runs until the end of next season and there are few, if any, better managers around willing to join Pools at this stage in the season.

He should be given the chance to put things right... And Challinor has been backed in recent weeks with the signings of Joe Bunney and Luke Armstrong in particular... Now is not the time for knee-jerk reactions. But patience is starting to wear thin."

According to the Derbyshire Times "This was one of the best Chesterfield performances in many years and it has left the Spireites' fanbase excited and dreaming about a bright future. The Rowe era has only just got underway, and the man himself was very grounded in his post-match interview...

After the break the Blues pinned Barnet back in their own half and totally dominated the ball. They switched play quicker and were clinical. Tellingly, Rowe could be heard on the touchline urging them forward for a seventh, while Poor Barnet were desperate to STOP THE COUNT!

Rowe remains unbeaten with three wins and a draw from four games in charge. They have recorded back-to-back wins for the first time since January. It is now three clean sheets on the bounce. They are the second top scorers in the league behind leaders Torquay United. It is the first time they have won by six goals since they hammered Shrewsbury Town 7-1 in January 2016.

Christmas came early for Spireites fans as Asante grabbed a hat-trick to make it four goals in as many games since signing from Gloucester City... Jak McCourt ran Asante extremely close for Town’s star performer with a dominant showing in midfield. Two assists and a late goal rounded off a very impressive display...

Whelan is fast becoming a fans’ favourite after just three games in a Town shirt. He is full of energy, deceptively quick, likes a tackle and has some clever passes in his locker... Another mention must go to Haydn Hollis who was excellent again and is marshalling the defence very well."

Lynn News tells us that "Returning Lynn fans were treated to a very respectable goalless draw against league leaders Torquay as Ian Culverhouse's side more than matched their opponents on a sodden afternoon at The Walks.

Having won 10 of their 12 league games, Torquay failed to score in all competitions for the first time this season with their captain shown a red card in the final quarter of the game.

The Linnets' assistant manager Paul Bastock said... 'Their keeper was man of the match for them by a country mile'...

Lynn made five changes from the team who lost 2-0 at Hartlepool in midweek with Aaron Jones, Ryan Jarvis, Simon Power, Jamar Loza and Dayle Southwell coming in for Alex Brown, Tai Fleming, Michael Clunan, Sonny Carey and Adam Marriott After a load roar and rousing rendition of 'Championees, championees' greeted the Linnets onto the field, it was almost a perfect start for the home side... eager to impress the returning 625 spectators in attendance. Both Bastock and Lynn defender Ross Barrows said it felt like there were 1,000 fans inside the ground, such was the noise being created...

The rain was lashing down... Torquay's former Dereham Town forward Danny Wright was feeding off scraps as Lynn continued to take the game to their high-flying opponents in the second-half...

Seconds after coming on for Southwell, Marriott was on the receiving end of a nasty challenge from Asa Hall, which resulted in a straight red card for the Torquay captain with 10 minutes left to play...There only looked like being one winner... as Marriott fired over from close range with 84 minutes on the clock...

Bastock said 'I thought to a man we were unbelievable, the effort, the endeavour, the chances back to front. It made a difference having a crowd there... We were the better team on the day in my opinion and we actually feel like we've dropped points against a top of the table team which has been blowing people out the water'".

In the clash between the two clubs promoted from the National League South in 2020, Wealdstone "produced an excellent performance and comeback to defeat Weymouth in a thoroughly entertaining match at The Vale... Goals from Dennon Lewis and Jack Cawley cancelled out Ben Thomson’s first half strike to seal three points for the Stones.

Manager Dean Brennan made three changes to the side that drew with Barnet last Saturday as Kundai Benyu, Charlee Hughes and Jacob Mendy were brought into the starting line-up.

Wealdstone started the match with a high tempo, playing on the front-foot and attacking Weymouth from the outset... An injury to Michael Phillips in the 20th minute forced Brennan to make an early substitution, with Jack Cawley replacing him in central defence.

Against the run of play, the Terras took the lead in the 24th minute through Ben Thomson... Just before halftime, the Stones were rewarded with well-deserved equaliser as Lewis popped up at the near post to flick a looping header home from Danny Green’s whipped corner...

The Stones started the second half in imperious fashion, taking the lead within two minutes of the restart as Cawley rose highest from Green’s corner to power home a bullet header... The home side continued their fluidity and intensity as they created a string of further goal scoring chances... Wealdstone held firm to clinch a well-earned victory and an important three points that pushes them up to fifth place"

13 December 2020


In an entertaining first half, Altrincham took a 39th minute lead. A foul on Colclough, just outside the front corner of the box on the visitors' left, produced a freekick. Kosylo's ball landed in the goalmouth where Croll and Hannigan went for it but it broke for Jake Moult to tap in from two yards out.

Earlier both sides had had good chances. The first of note saw Kosylo drag a shot wide from 18 yards after he had been put clear (18 mins) and then Joel Senior had to clear off the Alty line following a corner (27 mins). Hancock then should have headed in a superb Kosylo cross from the right but missed the target (33 mins).

The second half was poor and ruined by a bad injury to Ryan Colclough who had to be stretchered off after a poor challenge by Agogo which went unpunished. Alty, for just an hour or so before Bromley won a late kick-off, were third in the National League after five wins in six matches. They finished the day in fourth position.

Match report here.

After the game Ryan Colclough's injury was initially diagnosed as a severely sprained ankle, whilst Ritchie Sutton has a suspected fractured toe. Both now join Alty's extensive injury list. In the game Jake Moult picked up a booking which seems him suspended for Alty's game on Boxing Day.


Dagenham & Redbridge "played in front of spectators for a league match at the Chigwell Construction Stadium for the first time since March, Altrincham defeating the Daggers 1-0 in front of a crowd of just under 800...

Daryl’s side came ever so close to taking the lead just before the half-hour mark. Kenny Clark’s header looked to be going over the line before Joel Senior cleared off the line keeping the scores goalless.

The opening goal did come in the 39th minute, Jake Moult tapping home from a free kick which the home side failed to clear giving the visitors the lead at the break.

Half-time substitute Angelo Balanta came close to an equaliser for the home side shortly after coming onto the pitch with the Daggers fighting hard to get back into the game. The Colombian striking the post from the edge of the area with Thompson well beaten...

The Essex side were pushing hard and a superb cross from Weston was inches too far in front of the onrushing Scott Wilson...

Kosylo had a chance late on to double Altrincham’s lead but got caught in two minds, toe-poking wide from close range after being given room to run into the area... The visitors... held out for the win with the Daggers unable to capitalise on the pressure they put on the Robins during the second period".


The Hartlepool Mail reports that "Dave Challinor labelled Hartlepool United’s performance at Woking as ‘embarrassing’ as they fell to a 3-0 defeat.

Goals from Matt Jarvis, Jack Cook and Slavi Spasov saw Woking win comfortably in front of 799 fans at the Laithwaite Community Stadium.

The Cards were reduced to 10-men with the score at 3-0 as Max Kretzschmar was shown a straight red card for a foul on Mark Shelton.

And after an encouraging midweek display from Pools, manager Dave Challinor was angered with his side’s performance on Saturday afternoon.

'It was embarrassing; we got what we deserved and we were miles too inconsistent,' he admitted. 'It was a massive opportunity to go up to third potentially. We didn't do the basics and didn't win a single individual battle.

'Woking thoroughly deserved to win but I wouldn’t say it’s an afternoon to forget for us because too many things can be brushed under the carpet. I’ll make sure the players don’t forget that because it’s a long way short of what my expectations are...

'The way Woking played came as no surprise because we’d been working on stuff. We just didn’t deal with it and couldn’t cope with it'.

Across the park, Pools struggled to cope with Woking’s high-intensity approach to the game as they were reduced to just two shots on target and made needless mistakes at the back. And Challinor called the players in for training on Sunday as a result.

'The defence were shambolic and were bullied all afternoon,' Challinor added. 'The midfield had no impact and at the top end we didn’t get hold of it when we needed too... They have to be miles better and they’ll suffer for it, I told them at half time that they’d be in on Sunday to train and look over the goals and just what went wrong.'"

A happier manager is the subject of a report in the Derbyshire Times which reports that "Proud boss James Rowe said Chesterfield were ‘ruthless’ and ‘cut-throat’ as they hit Barnet for six with Akwasi Asante scoring a hat-trick.

Scott Boden, Haydn Hollis and Jak McCourt got the other goals as the Spireites ran riot at the Technique Stadium.

Rowe remains unbeaten as Blues manager with three wins and a draw from four games in charge.

'We were cut-throat today and that is what we wanted to be,' Rowe said. 'It was a close game in the first half, we probably edged it, in the second half we blew them away. We were ruthless... The second goal, you could watch that at any level. It is an outstanding goal...

'I am really proud of them. The last goal sums it up that Jak has run 60-yards and scored from two yards from the goal-line. That is what we want with and without the ball. Asante’s hat-trick goal was from a 50-yard sprint.

'The game plan was movement, get down the sides of them, Whelan coming in as a ‘10’ and running on and it worked and we got rewards. I don’t know what’s happened before but all I see is winners in there, hungry players and a real togetherness...

Rowe said of Asante, 'Three different goals, three different types of finishes'... Rowe said that McCourt was ‘outstanding’ and was his man of the match. On whether he will look to extend McCourt’s month-to-month contract, Rowe said,'Possibly'".

At Torquay United "manager Gary Johnson was disappointed with his side’s performance following the 0-0 away to King’s Lynn Town on Saturday.

'I think it was a poor performance by us today,' said Johnson. 'I didn’t recognise our game at all. Credit to Kings Lynn really, we knew they were no mugs, and the Kings Lynn that are no mugs turned up. It was a disappointing game for us, and obviously I am always disappointed not picking up three points wherever we go'...

'We weren’t as effective as we normally are. We certainly didn’t create enough chances, but the thing that disappoints me more is I didn’t recognise our game, that’s when I get disappointed... Outside our defensive penalty area, there wasn’t enough going on, and they know that.'

Torquay’s cause wasn’t helped by a controversial sending off for captain Asa Hall with just over ten minutes remaining, following on from Sam Sherring’s early departure through injury...

'We felt the sending off wasn’t a sending off, no way, it wasn’t a yellow card either, we felt'" concluded Johnson.

Aldershot Town report that "Despite coming back from two goals down through a Shadrach Ogie wonder-goal and a Jamal Fyfield own goal, goals from Kabongo Tshimanga, Gus Mafuta and Sorba Thomas were enough to give Boreham Wood the win at Meadow Park.

It was Boreham Wood who got the advantage first through Tshimanga who converted from the penalty spot before Mafuta doubled their lead shortly after...

The game changed for the Shots when Ogie hit a wonder strike from distance to get Aldershot back into the game before an own goal by Fyfield completed the comeback for the Shots.

In the last few minutes of the game, Thomas rounded Brad James to regain the lead for the Wood and seal the win for the hosts...

Danny Searle made one change to the starting line-up. Killian Colombie started ahead of Alfy Whittingham who had one more game to miss out due to suspension...

Aldershot piled pressure onto the Wood defence in injury-time but it wasn’t enough to complete another comeback and Boreham Wood held out for the win".

12 December 2020


Saturday, 12 December 2020
  • Boreham Wood 3-2 Aldershot Town
  • Chesterfield 6-0 Barnet
  • Dagenham & Redbridge 0-1 Altrincham
  • FC Halifax Town P-P Eastleigh [Covid at Eastleigh]
  • King's Lynn Town 0-0 Torquay United
  • Solihull Moors 0-1 Bromley
  • Stockport County P-P Sutton United [Covid at Sutton]
  • Wealdstone 2-1 Weymouth
  • Woking 3-0 Hartlepool United
  • Wrexham P-P Dover Athletic [Covid at Dover]
  • Yeovil Town P-P Notts County [Covid at Yeovil]


Altrincham FC press and media offixer, John Edwards, reports that "Altrincham have been given a major boost ahead of today's game at Dagenham & Redbridge after Ryan Colclough committed himself to the club until the end of next season and Alistair Smith agreed to extend his loan spell for another month.

Former Scunthorpe United winger Colclough joined Alty on a short-term deal less than three weeks ago and has already fitted in so well that it was quickly agreed both parties would benefit from a longer-term arrangement.

Smith has made just as favourable an impression in the centre of Alty's midfield since arriving from Mansfield on an initial one-month loan and readily gave his approval to remaining at The J.Davidson Stadium until January 13th.

And in a further development that should benefit Alty in the long run, exciting prospect Curtis Miller has joined Nantwich Town on loan to gain valuable match experience...

Alty boss Parkinson said 'Ryan has enjoyed his time with us to the extent that he wants to commit longer, and that's great news. It's the same with Alistair; he has done well enough to earn an extended stay and continue his progression...

[Curtis] Miller [left] has... the chance to experience Northern Premier League football with Nantwich... [which] was seen as the ideal way of continuing his progression.. Said Alty director Rob Esteva, 'As the likes of Dan Mooney edge closer to full fitness and Yusifu Ceesay and Ryan Colclough get sharper by the game, his minutes with us may be restricted in the short term, so this loan suits all parties. We know he will be well looked after by Nantwich'".

Footnotes: To date, Colclough has made one start and two further appearances from the bench, whilst Smith has started five times and also made one appearance from the bench.

This season Miller has not made a start but has played in six National League matches as a used substitute. In addition, he has started once, and been a used sub on a further occasion, in cup competitions.


Although a limited number of home supporters will be able to watch Altrincham in action at Victoria Road today, Dagenham & Redbridge are offering a streaming service for the match.

The Dagenham manager Daryl McMahon has complimentary things to say about Altrincham in his pre-match interview.

Familiar names to Alty fans to be expected in the opposition ranks today are Mitch Brundle, who has faced Alty several times previously for Braintree Town and Angelo Balanta, who has played against The Robins for Bristol Rovers

On their last visit to Victoria Road, a 4-1 defeat in 2007, Pat McFadden could not quite get on the end of this cross which had been nodded on by the prostrate Joe O'Neill. Colin Little and Peter Band are the other Alty players, as seen below...


Next Saturday Altrincham will host either Bradford (Park Avenue) or Chester FC in the FA Trophy.

Should it be the Yorkshire club, it seems likely that their manager will not be in attendnace as NL Daily announces that "Bradford (Park Avenue) manager Mark Bower will be absent from training and matches while he undergoes a period of self-isolation. The National League North club confirmed yesterday that Bower had come into contact with someone who had tested positive for COVID-19, and would therefore have to self-isolate.

Avenue said the spell of absence is ‘yet to be determined’, as the club awaited results of a test on Bower but this weekend’s home match with Leamington and next Tuesday’s FA Trophy game at Chester would ‘definitely’ fall under his time away.

Assistant manager [and ex-Alty midfielder] Danny Boshell and player-coach [ex-Alty defender] Ryan Toulson will oversee first-team matters during his absence, though Bower will continue to pick the side while he is away."

ON THIS DAY: 12 December

It is a while since Altrincham last played a game on today's date, 12 December. But, back in 2009 on that date, they played out a goalless draw with Wrexham in the FA Trophy. The following Tuesday Alty won the replay 1-0 at Moss Lane.

Above: Space was at a premium in this shot of the Alty game at Wrexham in 2009. The Alty players (in yellow) were Clee, Danylyk, Lawton, Young and Williams.

For the original tie in 2009, Colin Little had returned to the squad after illness but winger Nicky Clee was preferred up front in a starting line-up which featured Tom Kearney in the hole behind Clee and Senior. Greg Young again played at left back as Smith and Williams continued their central defensive pairing.

The defences were on top in this game at The Racecourse, with both keepers only having to make a couple of decent saves apiece. Altrincham looked more of a threat after Chris Denham had come on during the second half and posed a danger on the break. Alty survived a third-minute penalty when Matt Doughty was penalised but Sakho pulled his penalty wide with Stuart Coburn allowing it to pass for a goal kick.

1,065 spectators watched the game with 129 in away end. The gate was predictably disappointing with the approach of Christmas and a game which fell outside season ticket coverage.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Stuart COBURN; 2. James SMITH, 12. Robbie WILLIAMS, 5. Greg YOUNG; 6. Shaun DENSMORE; 7. Robbie LAWTON, 16. Anthony DANYLYK, 3. Matt DOUGHTY; 4. Tom KEARNEY; 19. Chris SENIOR, 11. Nicky CLEE. Subs: 9. Colin LITTLE, 13. Russell SAUNDERS, 10. Chris DENHAM, 18. Michael WELCH, 21. Andrew PEARSON


Four matches have been postponed because of Covid, all at southern clubs. One of them, Yeovil Town, announce that "Following a comprehensive testing programme, Yeovil Town have returned a positive test of COVID-19.

In line with government guidelines, Yeovil Town’s fixture with Notts County will now be postponed with the club entering a period of self-isolation.

Yeovil Town will issue an update on a rearranged date and ticketing details in due course... The club would like to wish the individual a speedy recovery".

Notts County add that "As the player in question was part of Yeovil’s travelling party to Bromley in midweek, their squad and staff who made the trip must now self-isolate in accordance with National League protocols".

So as things stood on Friday evening the following games had already been postponed:

  • FC Halifax Town P-P Eastleigh [Covid at Eastleigh]
  • Wrexham P-P Dover Athletic [Covid at Dover]
  • Yeovil Town P-P Notts County [Covid at Yeovil]

Weymouth "are an 'attractive proposition' for football agents and clubs looking to enhance players’ résumés with National League experience, boss Brian Stock has revealed...

Stock invited triallists to train with the Terras after the club emerged from their period of self-isolation following Covid-19 issues. Having won back-to-back promotions, a brighter footballing glare is shining on the Bob Lucas Stadium as the club gains more attention...

He told Echosport 'We invited in two or three triallists and we made sure... they were OK to come in and train with the group.

'The issue we have is that the players that do come in need to be better than what we’ve already got. We do have quite a large squad, we’re looking at 24 players. One or two will need to go out, like I’ve said previously, on loan to get minutes under their belt....

'I’m getting players given to me from various agents... Given we’re in National League football, it’s an attractive proposition for some of the players'".

According to West London Sport, "Wealdstone have agreed to let Dean Parrett discuss a move to Barnet after their fellow National League club made an approach for him.

The former QPR youngster had joined the Stones on a non-contract basis with only his expenses being covered and has featured in the past four games for Dean Brennan’s side.

Due to the fact he was not given a contract, Barnet are entitled to make an approach for the player, giving his current club seven days’ notice.

Wealdstone have agreed to waive the seven-day rule... It comes as a blow to the Stones, who take on a struggling Weymouth side at home tomorrow with fans set to return to Grosvenor Vale.

Jacob Mendy has been cleared to return to the side after a hamstring injury, while new goalkeeper Stuart Moore will keep his place in the team having signed prior to the defeat against Torquay.

However, Connor Stevens, Ross Lafayette, Moses Emmanuel and Dan Wishart are also set to miss out again through injury.

Meanwhile, Wealdstone report that "Both sides played out a thrilling 4-3 fixture when they met in the National League South last season, with the Stones coming out on top in Dorset. Since promotion, Weymouth lost manager Mark Molesley to Southend United, appointing former Wales international Brian Stock as manager.

They've found [it] a challenging return to National League football, currently sitting in 22nd position after a 3-2 home defeat to Dagenham & Redbridge on Tuesday night, despite taking the lead.

Wealdstone were down to the bare sixteen on Saturday against Barnet with Connor Stevens, Ross Lafayette, Dan Wishart, Danny Parish, Jacob Mendy and Moses Emmanuel all missing with injuries. Danny Green also left the field injured in the 0-0 draw in HA8. Stuart Moore picked up a facial injury in the game too but continued and is set to be between the sticks again this weekend...

Manager Dean Brennan said, 'From our point of view we have to get on the front foot right away, maybe have a few players back, see if we can recruit some new players and make sure we give our supporters something to cheer about'"

King's Lynn Town announce that "On Saturday we don’t only welcome Torquay United to The Walks but we also welcome back our loyal supporters nine months away from The Walks...

King’s Lynn come into this game following two league defeats to Bromley and Hartlepool while our visitors are on an eleven-game unbeaten run in the league and sit top of the league. The visitors have not lost a league game since the match week 2.

Torquay have had some extreme highs and lows in recent history. The Gulls were relegated from League Two in 2014 and by 2018 they were down in the National League South. Gary Johnson came in and turned their fortunes around. They won the National League South and now sit top of the National League.

KLT Team News: Rory McAuley (Ribs) is still out but Aaron Jones could be back in the squad".

Hartlepool United "will be looking to push on from Tuesday night's win as they take on Woking this weekend.

Two goals from debutant Luke Armstrong sealed the clash against King’s Lynn mid-week. Pools currently sit 7th in the league table, just two points from third.

It has been a season of mixed fortunes up to now for Woking who sit 12th having won five, drawn two and lost five. They will be looking for their first win in three as they were defeated last Saturday by Notts County and the week before by Sutton.

There was a huge overhaul in the summer as 20 new signings came through the door at the Kingfield Stadium.

The two sides have only met four times in their history with Pools winning one, drawing two and losing one".

At Chesterfield "James Rowe has spoken of his pride at managing Chesterfield after being overwhelmed by the response from supporters to the club’s crowdfunding appeal.

The £10,000 target set to purchase sports science equipment was reached just two days after being launched... Rowe said 'I’ve honestly never witnessed anything like that since I’ve been involved in football as a young lad. To do that in two days just shows the calibre of the club... The fact that people have come forward shows a great togetherness...

“It’s a remarkable gesture and everybody is talking about it, including the players. We can go a long way here. We’ve just got to start believing we can and this is the start of that process. I’m proud to manage a club like this and what we’ve got to do is make sure the team now mirrors the community here...

'It’s a working class community and we’ve got to make sure we work hard on the pitch. When you get that matched up, anything’s possible.'”

Aldershot Town "has been informed by a spectator who attended the two recent home fixtures that they have tested positive for Coronavirus.

Following the safety protocols the club have put in place, we are already in the process of correctly and safely cleaning the area the spectator was standing in, which was in the North West Terrace Area.

We want to reassure to all fans that this area, along with the other areas in the EBB Stadium, will remain safe at all times for everyone at the ground.

The next step for the spectator who has tested positive for Coronavirus is for the NHS Track and Trace system to request contact details from the club if required".

11 December 2020


Last week Alty lost two of their loanees as their parent clubs Crewe Alexandra explain.

"Crewe Alexandra boss David Artell says he did not hesitate to bring back defender, Billy Sass-Davies, and young midfielder Joe Robbins from their successful loan spell at Altrincham. Both joined Phil Parkinson National League side for a month and helped the side move up the table. They are currently 8th after winning four of their last five matches.

Centre-half Sass-Davies [pictured far right (no.15) on his Alty debut at York in 2019] was rewarded with a first-team start away at Hull City in the Papa John's Trophy on Tuesday and the Welshman helped Crewe achieve a clean-sheet before we eventually lost 3-2 in the decisive shoot-out.

First year professional Robbins will continue his development with Alex Morris’s Under-23 side and will be hoping to be included in the first-team squad at some point during the season.

Artell explained 'We couldn’t bring the boys back until the first 28 days had elapsed. If I could have done, I would have done because we lost Callum (Ainley) and Donervon (Daniels) through injury. We were also without [last season's Alty loanee] Josh (Lundstram), so we needed them.

'It is what it is and they did ever so well at Altrincham. I am not saying it was down to just those two but they helped a part-time club in the National League to move up the table in a short space of time. They played their part in that and would have gained from the experience, like Josh [Lundstram], did with the same club last season. They have done well but we needed them.

'Billy started on Tuesday and was good. He was fine once he settled into it and Joe is developing nicely as well in his first year as a pro. I’m sure we will need both of them at some stage.'"


Whilst Altrincham were sitting out their planned home fixture with Woking last Tuesday, their opponents this coming Saturday were in winning action on the Dorset coast.

Dagenham & Redbridge report that they "ground out a 3-2 win over Weymouth at the Bob Lucas Stadium.

Daryl McMahon made three changes from Saturday’s defeat to Aldershot Town, as Myles Weston, Dean Rance and Darren McQueen came into the starting XI...

The home side took the lead with 15 minutes gone in the contest. Elliot Justham failed to collect a cross and Josh McQuoid had the easiest of tap-ins to give his side the lead.

The Daggers weren’t behind for long, as a loose ball inside the area found its way to Mitch Brundle, who placed the ball into the top corner.

And a minute later, the east Londoners were in front, as Will Wright burst down the right side and found Paul McCallum in the right place at the right time to tap the ball into the net.

Things went from bad to worse for the home side, as Josh Wakefield saw red just before the break after a shocking challenge on Darren McQueen...

The Daggers continued to go about their work professionally, as they controlled possession against the 10 men of the Terras.

On 71 minutes, the away side added a third. Abu Ogogo was fouled inside the area, and Mitch Brundle stepped up and slotted home. The east London side were enjoying possession, with Dean Rance dictating the playing from deep in midfield.

However, Weymouth got back into the game, as Jake McCarthy headed in a corner to set up a nervy final 10 minutes for Daryl McMahon’s side...

Daggers: Justham, Wright, Clark, Croll, Johnson, Rance, Brundle, Ogogo, Weston McCallum, McQueen (Wilson 79’). Unused subs: Strizovic, Adams, Brissett, Balanta.

ON THIS DAY: 11 December

With Altrincham already having suffered a home match affected by a floodlight failure this season, it is appropriate to remember that on today's date in 2010 they benefitted from another stadium's floodlight problems.

Alty were losing an FA Trophy Round One game at The Tameside Stadium against Curzon Ashton when the tie had to be abandoned at half-time due to a power failure. Alty won the replayed game!

Right: Curzon Ashton net the first goal.

For this game Curzon had arrived on the back of a five-match winning run. Altrincham had lost their previous four league games, without scoring a goal and conceding fourteen in the process. It was a recipe for a potential upset.

In the original match, Alty could have been five down before the interval but two excellent blocks from Stuart Coburn kept the score down, and Curzon's McDonagh also spooned a shot badly over the bar from close range. However, Coburn was unable to keep out a ninth-minute freekick from Birch or an Edghill goal after 40 minutes.

But, with the last action of first-half added time, Clee's trickery on the left led to a cross which Mark Beesley headed onto the inside of the upright from where it bounced back, but keeper Carnell was only able to help the ball into the net as he attempted to grab it.

The game had started in sunshine and with the floodlights on but they went off midway through the half as a power cut affected the local area. It was bright enough to complete the first half but, at the interval, referee Collin discussed the situation with both managers and set a deadline of 4.20pm for the game to resume. But the power remained off after that time and he had no choice but to abandon the match.

Alty had omitted Robbie Lawton, Damian Reeves, Michael Welch and Andrew Milne from their squad for this FA Trophy game. Former Alty Reserves' keeper, Craig Ellison, was on the Curzon bench, whilst ex-Alty Youth players Chris Curley and Chris McDonagh started for the hosts

Alty had already lost a pre-season friendly at the Tameside Stadium in pre-season, 2-1.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Stuart COBURN, 2. James SMITH (captain), 4. Marc JOSEPH, 5. Robbie WILLIAMS, 15. Ryan BROWN, 6. Shaun DENSMORE, 25. Matt SOMNER, 17. Wes BAYNES, 11. Nicky CLEE, 10. Chris DENHAM, 19. Mark BEESLEY. Subs: 21. James COATES, 9. Michael TWISS, 16. Anthony DANYLYK, 12. Kevin HOLSGROVE, 20. Sam HEWSON


The Derbyshire Times has confirmed that "full-back Joel Taylor has joined the Spireites from Chester for an initial fee of £25,000.

The 24-year-old left-back has signed a contract until the end of the 2022 season, we understand... Taylor becomes James Rowe’s fifth signing since being appointed manager less than two weeks ago...

Taylor said, 'I like to believe that I’m a very attacking full-back so I like to get up the pitch and chip in with a few goals and assists, but first and foremost, defensive work is my main priority'.

Rowe said, 'He is a player that I know fits in physically and technically with how we want to play here'...

Chester’s joint manager, Anthony Johnson, said 'We’re obviously disappointed to lose Joel at an important stage of the season. He is a player we’ve invested a lot of time in, in terms of scouting and coaching, but we believe it’s probably the right time and the best deal in the interests of all parties'...

He was voted Chester’s Player of the Year award in 2019/20 and was named in the National League North team of the season.

Chesterfield "Chairman Mike Goodwin has issued the following message relating to the club’s crowdfunding initiative, which was launched yesterday (?Wednesday).

After John Croot and I sat down for a chat with the manager and found out that we needed to upgrade the equipment used for sports science and analysis purposes, the decision was taken to make an appeal to supporters for assistance. This was due to the fact that it was an expense that had not been budgeted for and it was something tangible for supporters to see that they had contributed to.

I am delighted to say that just over 24 hours after the appeal was launched, we have now gone past the halfway mark towards our target of £10,000!

The response from supporters has been absolutely fantastic and on the behalf of the board and the management team, I would like to express sincere thanks to everyone who has contributed... The money raised so far is enough to pay for equipment such as an interactive whiteboard and a telescopic video camera tripod. If we reach our target, it will enable us to replace all the outdated GPS equipment".

According to the Dorset Echo, "Brian Stock was full of praise for his side, despite losing 3-2 to Dagenham on Tuesday Night.

The Terras' manager said 'I can’t expect anymore from the players, they gave absolutely everything today.'

The Terras started the game well, going 1-0 ahead thanks to a goal from Josh McQuoid. Stock said 'In the first half, we dominated with the ball, passed and moved it very well, and took the game to Dagenham.'

However, their lead was overturned as the Daggers struck twice within a minute to go 2-1 ahead.

Stock said 'The biggest disappointment [of the game] is the 5 minutes in the game where we conceded the 2 goals.' Josh Wakefield was sent off just before half time for a straight red card on Darren McQueen. 'In today’s game, Josh Wakefield will feel like he should stay on his feet'...

'We went 3-1 down, and you look at characters, the leaders, in this young side; we kept going, right to the end.'

Cameron Murray was substituted off with a head injury after half time".

The Leader Live reports that "Wrexham won't know their FA Trophy opponents until next Tuesday night but Dean Keates was just happy to be handed a home tie in the third round.

The Reds will begin their Trophy campaign at The Racecourse against one of three lower division teams - Leamington, Grantham Town or St Ives Town, on Saturday December 19.

Grantham host St Ives Town in the first round and the winners will travel to Leamington in round two on Tuesday night...

When they return from the midweek clash at the Bob Lucas Stadium, [Weymouth], Wrexham will discover who they will face in the Trophy four days later.

'It's a home draw so at least we know where we are playing,' said Keates, who may opt to field fringe players such as Dan Jarvis and Devonte Redmond in the cup competition...

'A few weeks ago, I was told that we wouldn't know the draw until after the game at Weymouth,' added Keates.

'The FA have been proactive and dealt with it a little bit different[ly] so at least we know where we are. You could imagine coming back from Weymouth having drawn South Shields away or somewhere like that on the Tuesday night. You aren't going to be able to sort your arrangements out at that time on a Tuesday, so it is all systems go on the Wednesday morning to get your coach sorted.

'At least doing it this way, it gives clubs a chance to get themselves prepared as well as they can regarding travel if you are away and have the longest possible journey in your draw.'"

From Devon Live we learn that "Torquay United manager Gary Johnson said he thought his 'cosmic' side deserved to be 4-0 ahead by half time in their win against Maidenhead United on Tuesday night, such was the intensity of the first 20 minutes.

But in the end, the manager was more than happy with the 2-1 win that saw the Gulls move five points clear at the top of the table and 11 points of the team in third.

The team has amassed an amazing 31 points from a possible 35... the best start in the club's history.

The goalscorers were the brilliant Ben Whitfield in the 45th minute and the determined Danny Wright in the second half...

Johnson said 'I thought for the first 20 minutes we played some great football; "cosmic" is the only word I can think of. And we put so much energy into demoralising them, we needed to be 4-0 up and deserved to be 4-0 up.

'Credit to them, though, they threw themselves in front of everything and it wasn't necessarily missed chances... It was good to get the goal just before half time and that warmed up our supporters; and we got the second goal and it looked OK then...

Johnson said Wright, Lemonheigh-Evans and Hall all wanted to be involved, despite their injuries... 'There were some people who went beyond the call of duty today'...

Sam Sherring has played at right back and Jake Andrews has been on the left of the defence for the last two games with usual full backs Ben Wynter and Dean Moxey out injured. Johnson also confirmed that Whitfield left the pitch early on Tuesday because he had picked up a knock."

10 December 2020


Altrincham travel to east London on Saturday to face Dagenham & Redbridge for the first time since April 2017. On that occasion the Daggers won 4-1 and went on to gain promotion to League Two, a reward that had previously been denied them by the dubious practices of Steve Evans's Boston United.

Alty and Daggers' games normally produce plenty of goals. Before the five goals in 2007, the Essex side had won 5-0 at Moss Lane for two years running whilst Alty had won 4-2 at the Glyn Hopkin Stadium the previous spring. In the 2007 game Altrincham were in search of a final three points to secure survival but had won only one of their three previous games, whilst Dagenham had slumped to two defeats after securing the Conference title.

As Alty arrived at Dagenham in 2007, Val Owen, Stuart Coburn and Chris Senior were still out, injured, but Stephen Rose had returned from suspension. Rod Thornley started up front with Joe O'Neill shifted to right midfield. With the first-team squad for the experience was Reserves' and former Alty Youth player Ben Deegan. He had been invited along as kitman Dave Mitten had been taken ill with pleurisy before the team travelled to Essex and so there was a spare bed at the pre-match hotel.

Above: Jamie Taylor nets the Daggers' first goal in the 2007 match at Victoria Road.

1,473 spectators witnessed the 2007 match but this time around only a limited number of home supporters only will be allowed to watch the match.

After playing well in the first half, Alty were second best in the second half of a game played in very warm conditions which tested the part-timers. Following a short corner, Taylor headed the Daggers ahead (11 mins). But a fine goal from 20 yards from Colin Little levelled things (21 mins).

Little was unable to convert two other chances, but Alty deserved to reach the interval level. Dagenham stepped up a gear after the break and Southam put them ahead, converting a rebound after Acton had done well to parry a shot from the left (58 mins).

A foul by Karl Munroe gave the Daggers a penalty which Moore converted (81 mins). It was the third successive Saturday that the Altrincham central defender had conceded a penalty. Finally, Saunders made it 4-1 when his low shot went in off the post (88 mins).

ALTRINCHAM: 13. Richard ACTON; 20. Stephen ROSE, 17. Karl MUNROE, 4. Peter BAND, 11. Warren PEYTON; 12. Joe O'NEILL, 7. Robbie LAWTON, 6. Steve BUSHELL, 14. Lewis CHALMERS; 9. Colin LITTLE, 10. Rod THORNLEY. Subs: 2. Steve ASPINALL, 3. Gary SCOTT, 5. Gary TALBOT, 18. Pat McFADDEN, 22. Andy SCOTT.

Since their 2016 relegation Dagenham, have finished fourth, eleventh, eighteenth and seventeenth in the National League. They go into this Saturday's match lying 19th with twelve points from eleven games, so they are six points behind Altrincham with two fixtures in hand.

ON THIS DAY: 10 December

Four years ago today, in 2016, Altrincham travelled to Northumberland to face Blyth Spartans in a Buildbase FA Trophy 3rd Qualifying Round replay, following a 2-2 draw at Moss Lane.

Whilst Blyth made six changes from the team that had drawn at Moss Lane in midweek, Altrincham made three alterations. They were again depleted with the injury/illness absences of Cyrus and Wilkinson whilst McDonald was not eligible, so reserves Taylor and Foster were again in the squad and joined Harry Cain on a very young visitors' bench, which included Damian Reeves as its senior member.

Above: There was a welcome return as captain for Shaun Densmore, who was making his 300th start for the club. He is seen here as Alty took to the field at Croft Park.

But Alty were able to restore Shaun Densmore to the starting eleven and he re-assumed the captaincy. Alan Goodall moved into midfield as did Sam Patterson in yet another new formation for Altrincham. Tom Hannigan had recovered from the nerve problem that prevented his completion of the previous Tuesday's match.

In the replay, Altrincham deservedly advanced to a home tie against Macclesfield Town, in Round One Proper of the Buildbase FA Trophy, despite losing Simon Richman to injury after only 14 minutes.They put in a fine first-half performance, with Sean Miller, Shaun Densmore and Tom Hannigan, particularly excelling.

As a consequence, Alty went into the break 3-0 up. Miller fired the Robins ahead in the seventh minute with a superbly executed 35-yard lob over keeper McHugh from a fine through ball from Densmore. Shaun was making his 300th start for the Club, after a year out with a serious injury.

Two goals in four minutes just before the break allowed Altrincham to go in for half-time with a 3-0 lead. The first of this brace came when, following a Densmore throw, the ball was worked via Hobson, then Lawrie, to Miller who scored from the edge of the box with a low shot in the 40th minute.

The third goal arrived in the 44th minute when Moult found Lawrie, whose cross from the right was smartly converted with a first-time shot by Hobson after a smart dummy from Reeves.

Just after the hour mark, the Spartans pulled a goal back when Rivers fed Armstrong, who scored with a low shot from the edge of the box. Alty weathered some further pressure and in the final minute the hitherto fairly quiet Robbie Dale jinked past three Alty defenders to score an impressive goal from right of the net.

In the four added minutes at the end of the match, Alty withstood severe pressure and were indebted to a fine tip over the bar from Tim Deasy from a close-range Pell header.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Tim DEASY, 2. Shaun DENSMORE (capt), 3. Andy McWILLIAMS, 4. Alan GOODALL, 5. Tom HANNIGAN, 6. Jake MOULT, 7. Sam PATTERSON, 8. Simon RICHMAN, 9. Sean MILLER, 10. Craig HOBSON, 11. James LAWRIE. Subs 12. Damian REEVES, 14 Harry CAIN, 15. Laurence TAYLOR, 16. Will FOSTER, 20. Andrew DAWBER.


As reported yesterday, Altrincham have secured a home draw against Chester FC or Bradford (Park Avenue) when they enter the FA Trophy competition on 19 December. Should the Yorkshire club prevail against Chester it would be a repeat for Altrincham of the Third Qualifying Round tie in 2018, which Alty won 4-1.

The National League adds that "Winners of the third round games will earn £4,500 from the prize pot, with the losing sides banking a cheque for £1,250.

FA Trophy Third Round draw:

  • Darlington or City of Liverpool v Coleshill Town or AFC Telford United
  • Hitchin Town or Peterborough Sports v Basford United or Felixstowe & Walton United
  • FC Halifax Town v Hartlepool United
  • Alfreton Town or Bedford Town v King's Lynn Town
  • Solihull Moors v Gateshead or Farsley Celtic
  • Wrexham v Leamington or Grantham Town or St Ives Town
  • Altrincham v Chester or Bradford (Park Avenue)
  • Stockport County v Guiseley or Chorley
  • Ashton United or York City v Kettering Town or Nuneaton Borough
  • Spennymoor Town or Marske United v Marine or Hyde United or Southport
  • Blyth Spartans or Morpeth Town v Notts County
  • Witton Albion or Bamber Bridge v Hereford or St Neots Town or Nantwich Town
  • Chesterfield v Brackley Town or Royston Town
  • Evesham United or Boston United v Curzon Ashton or AFC Fylde
  • Dorking Wanderers v Barnet or Hungerford Town
  • Weymouth v Maidenhead United
  • Welling United or Oxford City v Concord Rangers or Truro City
  • Aveley or Chesham United v Torquay United
  • Dagenham & Redbridge v Ebbsfleet United or Chippenham Town
  • St Alban's City or Cray Wanderers v Sutton United
  • Dulwich Hamlet or Cheshunt v Tonbridge Angels or Hornchurch
  • Welwyn Garden City v Aldershot Town or Burgess Hill Town
  • Bracknell Town v Billericay Town or Braintree Town or Havant & Waterlooville
  • Bath City or Chelmsford City v Swindon Supermarine or Carshalton Athletic
  • Slough Town or Dartford v Haringey Borough or Eastbourne Borough
  • Bromley v Corinthian Casuals or Hemel Hempstead Town
  • Boreham Wood v Yeovil Town
  • Woking v Dover Athletic


Altrincham could be renewing their acquaintance with Chester FC in the FA Trophy on 19 December. Meanwhile the NL Daily tells us that "Chester have said that ‘no commitments remain outstanding’ over Stuart Murphy’s involvement with the club.

Murphy signaled his intention to end his association with the club back in May.

It followed the local entrepreneur’s bid to assume full control at the National League North side.

Murphy’s £1 million investment (over three years) into the club was officially approved in June 2018.

The club have today said 'Following a thorough review, we can confirm that no commitments remain outstanding, and that matters have now been resolved to the satisfaction of both parties.

'We again thank Mr Murphy for all his considerable financial assistance over the last two years, and wish him well with his 1885 Sporting Village project.”


The National League tells us that Tuesday "was a great day for leaders Torquay United as they won and the three sides below them all lost.

One of those, of course, were [sic] Maidenhead United and the Gulls claimed a 2-1 victory over them at Plainmoor. Danny Wright scored the winner to move Torquay five points clear...

James Rowe’s presence is already being felt at Chesterfield. They stunned second place Sutton United to record a seventh point in three games for the new manager; Haydn Hollis with a 39th minute goal to take home the points.

Notts County, in third, lost 1-0 at home to Boreham Wood as their good recent run came to an end. Alex Reid got both goals as Stockport County won 2-1 at Barnet to keep the pressure on.

At the 11th attempt, Yeovil Town bagged their first National League win. Rhys Murphy and Joe Quigley scored as Bromley’s home woes continue.

FC Halifax now have 13 goals and nine points in their last three matches. Jake Hyde twice got on the scoresheet as the Shaymen won 3-1 at improving Aldershot.

Mitch Brundle scored two more as Dagenham won 3-2 at Weymouth.

A deadly double from debutant Luke Armstrong secured Hartlepool United’s first home win since the opening day... [a] 2-0 win over King’s Lynn".

Yeovil Town "secured their first National League victory of the season, beating Bromley 2-1 at Hayes Lane.

First-half goals from Rhys Murphy and Joe Quigley separated the two sides at the break, with Yeovil holding a deserved advantage. The hosts came out the traps with real intent in the second half, and did find a goal through the threatening Michael Cheek...

With a week's break, Darren Sarll will have enjoyed getting some extra drills in with his players in the build up to the match. Adam Smith, an ever present for Town this season, began in goal, with Carl Dickinson, Gabriel Osho, Luke Wilkinson and the returning Daniel Leadbitter lining up as a back four.

In the middle of the park, Charlie Lee began at the base of the midfield with Albi Skendi, Matt Warburton and Emmanuel Sonupe ahead of him... Rhys Murphy and Joe Quigley led the line. With fresh legs, Yeovil began brightly with Leadbitter and Sonupe enjoying success on the flanks, eventually leading to a succession of corners for Town.

Such a positive start has been a rarity of late for the Glovers this season, and Sarll's side made sure it counted on 8 minutes. Warburton's corner caused havoc in the Bromley box, eventually the ball fell to Murphy at the back-post who turned home the opener...

Set-piece routines were clearly on the agenda during the week of training as a smart free-kick from Warburton almost added a second for Town... On the stroke of half-time Yeovil added a second through Quigley. Once again from a set-piece, Dickinson's cross was met emphatically by the towering striker...

The hosts' positive mindset eventually paid dividends on 70 minutes as Cheek cut the deficit... In the end, Yeovil Town held onto [a] well deserved victory".

The Cards should have visited the J. Davidson Stadium on Tuesday but, off the field, Woking are "pleased to announce that Graeme Beveridge has been co-opted onto the board.

Graeme joined the club as a volunteer in October to manage all the HR activities for the club, and has been working closely with Rosemary Johnson and John Katz. He has been a season ticket holder for a few years now and attends matches with his son.

Rosemary Johnson, Chairman, said... 'For some months Graeme has been helping us out using his experience in HR and he will be an invaluable asset to the club as we move forwards'.

Graeme commented 'I would like to help the club achieve its aim of reaching the Football League'".

Notts County advise us that "A second-half header from Jamal Fyfield was enough to inflict our first defeat in six games as Boreham Wood emerged victorious at Meadow Lane.

We could have been 2-0 up inside the opening four minutes as Kyle Wootton and Enzio Boldewijn both missed big chances to give us the dream start.

While the visitors grew into the game thereafter, hitting the post through Sorba Thomas, we still enjoyed the lion's share of the big chances and looked the more likely winners until Fyfield rose highest in the area to head his side in front with 20 minutes to play.

And we were unable to conjure a response on what transpired to be a disappointing December evening".

9 December 2090


One benefit of the two recent postponements for Altrincham is that the league table now shows a truer picture of where the club stands in its first season back in the National League as it enjoys its fifth spell at the top level of non-League football.

By last weekend Altrincham had risen to fourth in the National League but had played more games than any other club, in some cases five or six games more. After the enforced blank last Saturday when waterlogging prevented the game against King's Lynn Town from proceeding, they had dropped to sixth.

And after this Tuesday's results, Altrincham now lie eighth. On PPG Altrincham would be in twelfth place.

That is still a very respectable position for a newly promoted and part-time club in the National League.


Tuesday, 8th November
  • Aldershot Town 1-3 FC Halifax Town
  • Altrincham P-P Woking (Waterlogged pitch)
  • Barnet 1-2 Stockport County (k.o. 6pm)
  • Eastleigh P-P Wrexham (Covid cases at Dover)
  • Bromley 1-2 Yeovil Town
  • Dover Athletic P-P Solihull Moors (Covid cases at Dover)
  • Hartlepool United 2-0 King's Lynn Town
  • Notts County 0-1 Boreham Wood
  • Sutton United 0-1 Chesterfield (k.o. 7pm)
  • Torquay United 2-1 Maidenhead United
  • Weymouth 2-3 Dagenham & Redbridge


The draw for the Third Round of the FA Trophy, at which stage Alty join the competition, took place today (Wednesday).

Altrincham secured a home tie against either Chester FC or Bradford (Park Avenue).

Earlier, The FA had announced that "Following the suspension of the 2020-21 Buildbase FA Trophy and Buildbase FA Vase competitions during the period of the national lockdown between 5 November and 3 December, the confirmed schedules below have been agreed in conjunction with the Leagues' Committee and National Game Competitions Committee for the restart of the competitions.

Revised dates for the Buildbase FA Trophy are as follows:-

  • Second Round Proper - Tuesday 15 December
  • Third Round Proper - Saturday 19 December".


As previously reported, the first Altrincham fixture at which spectators are expected to be present is the away game at Dagenham on Saturday (12th December).

From there, Dagenham & Redbridge announce that "Match tickets are now on sale for our Vanarama National League match against Altrincham on the 12th December at the Chigwell Construction Stadium.

Tickets are only available in advance and cannot be purchased on the turnstiles!...

The health and safety of everyone attending Chigwell Construction Stadium is always our top priority. We look forward to welcoming you back and ask that you take the time to read the... spectator code of conduct...

Away fans are not permitted under current government guidelines."

ON THIS DAY: 9 December

Twelve years ago today, 9 December 2008, was a Tuesday on which Altrincham made the long trek to Holker Street to face Barrow. Altrincham had lost the reverse fixture 4-3 in the opening week of the season but their last visit to Holker Street had been in the Conference North when Barrow won 2-0 against an injury-depleted Alty lacking Aspinall, Hilton, Hussin and Thornley from the starting line-up, as well as the broken-leg victims, Hallows and Rose.

This 2008 match in Cumbria was a Blue Square Premier match, which ended 2-2. Altrincham were down to 15 fit players. But manager Graham Heathcote made three changes from the team which had started at Crawley on the preceding Saturday; Coburn, Meechan and Johnson replaced Ralph, Elam and Senior respectively. For Meechan it was a first start in 12 league games.

Alty line up at Holker Street in 2008.

Captain Robbie Lawton was again named on the bench though not fit to play. There were also positional changes as Alty deployed Greg Young at left-back and Matt Doughty on the left of midfield.

In a pulsating match Alty withstood intense second-half pressure to leave Holker Street with a point. Barrow went ahead after only 9 minutes with a well-struck effort from just outside the box by Walker, who got past Smith to run on and score. But the game was turned on its head by two Alty goals in four minutes.

The first came from Alex Meechan who converted Warren Peyton's deflected shot (31 mins) and, then, as Barrow lost their rhythm, Colin Little got to Dale Johnson's feed ahead of Barrow keeper Martin and poked the ball home (35 mins).

Alty held sway till the interval but Barrow dominated the second half. The Bluebirds' pressure was rewarded when the unmarked defender, Paul Jones, headed home a Boyd corner at the near post to make it 2-2 (68 mins). However, Alty, led by their captain, Mark McGregor, defended resolutely to emerge with a hard-earned point.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Stuart COBURN; 2. Chris LANE, 22. James SMITH, 4. Mark McGREGOR (capt), 5. Greg YOUNG; 15. Alex MEECHAN, 16. Anthony DANYLYK, 11. Warren PEYTON, 3. Matt DOUGHTY; 9. Colin LITTLE, 14. Dale JOHNSON. Subs: 7. Robbie LAWTON, 12. Joe O'NEILL, 13. Andy RALPH, 18. Lee ELAM, 19. Chris SENIOR.


Wealdstone"would like to bring to the public's attention a spate of acts of vandalism happening at our Grosvenor Vale stadium.

In the most recent mindless acts, we have been notified that a scarf planted in the stands in remembrance to a supporter that passed away has been stolen.

This has been the third act of vandalism in our stadium recently; our dedicated team of volunteers work incredibly hard in maintaining our stadium and we are growing increasingly frustrated by these mindless idiots ruining their hard work.. We encourage anybody with information to contact the club or call 101".

At Chesterfield, "The Spireites have clinched the signing of midfielder George Carline, who was a free agent after leaving Gloucester City.

The deal sees Carline link up again with James Rowe after playing under the manager at Gloucester.

Rowe is delighted to have signed the 27-year-old, saying 'I have enjoyed working with George since the summer so once George became a free agent, we moved quickly to secure him. He brings a good balance and versatility to any team in the National League'...

Carline said 'It’s a great opportunity for me with the size of the club and the ambitions that the new owners have got... I’ve enjoyed the short time I’ve worked under James. He’s a positive character who is working his way up and hopefully we can have some success.'

Carline, who hails from Derby, was previously at Solihull Moors".

The Leader Live reports that "Dean Keates expects more games to be called off due to the on-going coronavirus pandemic after another Wrexham match failed to go ahead.

Tuesday night's clash with Eastleigh at The Silverlake Stadium has been postponed because someone in the Spitfires' camp has tested positive for Covid-19.

Saturday's home game against Dover on Saturday has also been called off for the same reason so the Reds will return to action at Weymouth next Tuesday.

Wrexham have lost their last two games, the latest coming when the Reds lost 3-1 at leaders Torquay on Saturday...

'Unfortunately, these are the times that we are living in at the moment'...said Keates... 'We wanted to get a game in and get a response from the weekend but it has been taken out of our hands. You just hope that it is nothing too sinister down at Eastleigh for their sake...

'It was inside our camp a few weeks ago and it is in somebody else's now... One or two players are carrying little niggles so it gives us a chance to settle them down,' said Keates.

'Kwame Thomas went off with concussion at the weekend so by the time Weymouth comes around, he will be back with the group'...

Wrexham trailed 2-0 after just 17 minutes at Torquay but Theo Vassell immediately reduced the deficit. Despite being on top in the second half, the Reds failed to score an equaliser and Torquay netted a third goal...

'On the back end of Altrincham where we felt we definitely deserved to get something out of the game with the clear cut chances that we had, we went to Torquay and did not start the game how we wanted... but it was a good reaction during the game...

'We were pushing forward but in the build-up to their third goal, there was a blatant foul on Anthony Jeffrey and the referee was stood five yards away from it'".

Also at Wrexham, the Leader Live reports that "Peter Moore praised the work of Wrexham Supporters' Trust... The Racecourse outfit has been in fan-ownership since 2011 but Hollywood stars Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney are close to completing their takeover.

Former Liverpool CEO Moore will work as an advisor... 'Thanks to the Wrexham Supporters' Trust... It is phenomenal that the club has people who love the club so much that they are able to band together and get the club through so many difficult times...

'I don't like to use the word owners but I think Rob and Ryan are going to be wonderful stewards of the football club'".

Before their Tuesday fixture, King's Lynn Town reported about "the long journey north to take on Hartlepool United...

Two places and two points separate the sides with tonight hosts just better off than Lynn... Lynn have the division’s joint worse defence on their travels with 14 goals conceded but have picked up away wins at Maidenhead Utd and Barnet.

Saturday saw Hartlepool go down 2-1 at home to Boreham Wood whilst Lynn’s game against Altrincham was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch...

Hartlepool got relegated to the National League and since then they have finished 15th, 16th and 12th...

Lynn will check on the fitness of Rory McAuley and Kyle McFadden following recent injuries; Rory missing the Bromley game with a back injury and Kyle going off injured in the second half. Should either be unavailable summer signing Tai Fleming, who impressed as a sub against Bromley, could make his full debut. Aaron Jones is closing in on a return and could be named in the squad whilst Michael Gash continues his comeback from injury".

8 December 2020


For the second time in three days Altrincham have lost a home fixture to a postponement as the game against Woking, scheduled for 7.45pm tonight, has fallen victim to a waterlogged pitch.

This follows the postponement of last Saturday's planned fixture against King's Lynn Town.

So, the next game is away at Dagenham on Saturday.


Last Saturday, Alty Director of Football, Rob Esteva, confirmed to the Robins' Review that there were ten players undergoing treatment at Moss Lane. Two of these were mentioned by name as being on the road to recovery, namely Andy Dales and Simon Richman. Before the last game, against Wrexham, five others (Fisayo Adarabioyo, Sean Williams, Toby Mullarkey, Dan Mooney and Connor Hampson) were known to be injured. Rob also mentions that new signing Byron Harrison has an injury so that leaves two other injured players unaccounted for.

Alty go into the game on a run of four wins from five games and lie second only to league leaders Torquay United in the form guide in that sequence of games. Woking are twelfth in the form guide, having lost their two most recent games; away at Notts County and at home to Sutton United. In the league itself Woking are ninth, just a point behind Altrincham from one game fewer played.


On the Altrincham FC official site, co-chairman Bill Waterson outlines how the club is preparing to admit spectators and is hoping that this may be possible once the Covid restrictions are reviewd on December 16th. Should the Trafford Metropolitan Borough be moved into Tier Two from its current Tier Three status, it would be permitted (under current rules) to admit limited numbers of home spectators to the J. Davidson Stadium.

In his article, Bill Waterson says "Before fans are allowed back, we need Greater Manchester (or at least Trafford BC) to be elevated to Tier 2 in the COVID league table. But it is possible that this could happen as early as December 16th.

Above: The J. Davidson Stadium may not be devoid of spectators for too much longer.

Failing that, while we await a date for the next review of the system, we are confident of being reclassified as Tier 2... So, we are actively working towards fans being allowed back in the ground in the near future.

The capacity we can expect for The J. Davidson Stadium willbe set by one of the following three criteria: 50% of our overall capacity; an upper limit of 2,000 for Tier 2; the SG02 'planning for social distancing at sports grounds' directive.

For Alty, this sets a capacity of 1,152. This is slightly reduced from our original expectation of 1,431 and is due to more detailed work being done on the logistics of the one-way systems, and the like, required to manage the circulation...

We will be putting in place strict prioritisation of sales... The first priority in ticket allocation will go to our season ticket holders... Additionally, our 48 Vice-Presidents will be in the first wave of prioritisation.

Next in line come our Patrons, over 300 of them at the last count, followed by contributors to Robins Rewards, the monthly scheme that is supporting Phil’s playing budget very nicely thank you!

And finally, we have a list of those that donated to our fundraising back at the start of the pandemic – you, too, will benefit from your massive generosity...

You will not be able to turn up to the stadium without a ticket. All ticket sales will be in advance, and electronically through our website".

For fuller details of Bill's statement, please follow the above link to the official club website.

ON THIS DAY: 8 December

Two years ago today, on Saturday, 8 December 2018 in a Vanarama National League North match, Altrincham defeated AFC Telford United 3-1. Alty and The Bucks had started the match lying fourth and fifth respectively in the table.

Right: James Jones in action against AFC Telford United.

Although Altrincham ultimately achieved a comfortable margin of victory, for much of the afternoon AFC Telford United looked as if they would not emerge from the game empty-handed. The visitors started well butit was Altrincham who took a nineteenth-minute lead in the match.

John Johnston took advantage of a defender's failure to cut out a through ball before getting into the box and feeding Josh Hancock who netted. But Udoh equalised for the Bucks in the 25th minute, when he converted a nod-down after Altrincham had failed to clear the ball in their own penalty area.

In a match played on a pitch which was sodden from the start, Altrincham regained the lead in the 74th minute. Shaun Densmore was chopped down on the front edge of the box as Kallum Mantack laid the ball off to him. From the freekick Connor Hampson curled a superb freekick into the net.

The icing on the cake was Hancock's second and Alty's third goal in the 87th minute, which came from a corner. Ashley Hemmings, who made an impressive debut as a late Alty substitute, received the ball in the box and calmly laid it off to the unmarked Josh Hancock who scored for the tenth time this season.

The win left Altrincham third in the league, level on points with second-placed Chorley and fourth-ranked Chester, but four points behind leaders Bradford (Park Avenue) who had been beaten three times already that season by Altrincham!

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Tony THOMPSON, 2. Andy WHITE, 3. Connor HAMPSON, 4. James JONES, 5. Tom HANNIGAN, 6. Jake MOULT (c), 7. John JOHNSTON, 8. Simon RICHMAN, 9. Jordan HULME, 10. Josh HANCOCK, 11. Kallum MANTACK. Subs: 12. Max HARROP, 14. Ashley HEMMINGS, 15. Josh LANGLEY, 16. Shaun DENSMORE, 20. Elliot WYNNE.


Stockport County remind us that they "are back in the Capital once again this Tuesday night, as we travel to struggling Barnet looking for a fifth straight away win that could see us move back into the play-off places.

Victory at high-flying Bromley on Saturday afternoon, our first league game since Halloween, saw us move back into the top half of the table in 11th place...

County fans won’t need reminding too much about how the Bees ended last season. The early curtailment of the campaign, followed by the subsequent decision to decide the season on points per game, meant the North London side jumped above us into the final play-off place due to their four games in hand, despite sitting four places and four points below us in the final league table.

Despite knocking out Yeovil Town in the play-off quarter-final at Huish Park, their season finally came to an end in the semi-final at Meadow Lane... Alex Reid’s goal at the weekend took him to five for the season – three of which have come in his last four games.

It has been a summer of great change at The Hive stadium since that play-off defeat. Manager Darren Currie has departed the Club after two years in charge, alongside his assistant Junior Lewis, with former Barnet player and ex-Hereford boss Peter Beadle brought in as a replacement.

A number of key players from last season’s side have since followed Currie out of the exit door. In fact, seven of the eleven players that started for Barnet in the 1-1 draw at Edgeley Park just before lockdown are no longer at the Club, including three of their back four, as well as goalscorer that day Simeone Akinola, who has joined Southend United.

The loss of the lethal Paul McCallum up front was a big blow, with the forward now plying his trade at Dagenham & Redbridge, whilst midfield general Dan Sweeney has moved on to Forest Green Rovers, leaving the side without the majority of its spine from last season.

The Hatters kept their first away clean-sheet of the season on Saturday, and will be looking to continue their fine recent form on their travels.

A 5-1 opening day defeat at home to Eastleigh rather set the tone for what has been a season of struggle for Beadle’s men so far... They are winless in their [last] seven fixtures since, including heavy defeats at Halifax (5-2) and Woking (4-1). At present, only King's Lynn have a worse defensive record than the 24 goals Barnet have conceded so far this campaign...

County will be looking to win five successive away games for the first time since winning eight on the bounce, back in the 2007/08 season... John Rooney has ten goals for the season already – just one behind the total of eleven that top scorer Elliot Osborne scored in the whole of last season".

According to NL Daily, "Weymouth have signed winger Zaid Al-Hussaini on loan.

The Crawley Town player joins the Terras for the next month.

The 20-year-old signed for Crawley on a three-year contract this summer. Al-Hussaini has previously spent time with Derby County, signing a professional deal back in 2018. He has also had stints with a number of non-league sides."

The Hartlepool Mail predicts that "Hartlepool United are set to complete the loan signing of Luke Armstrong from Salford City until the end of the 2020-21 season.

The 24 year-old was in attendance at Victoria Park on Saturday as Pools were beaten 2-1 by Boreham Wood with manager Dave Challinor confirming a new striker would soon be through the door.

Armstrong has struggled to break into the Ammies squad so far this season, being limited to just one League Two start after an injury-hit opening season at the Peninsula Stadium.

But the former Middlesbrough forward will arrive at Pools with a strong reputation as a proven goalscorer in the National League after bagging 10 goals in 16 starts for Gateshead during the 2018-19 season. As a 20-year-old, the striker netted 23 goals in 42 appearances for Blyth Spartans in the Northern Premier League.

But since stepping up to the EFL, Armstrong, son of Darlington manager Alun, has struggled to recapture the goalscoring form he showed at The Heed... Pools have lacked a goalscorer so far this season with summer striker signings Mason Bloomfield, Rhys Oates and David Parkhouse scoring just two league goals between them in the opening 11 National League games".

In the Derbyshire Times "James Rowe says that players will only go out on loan to clubs which ‘mirror’ the way that he wants his Chesterfield team to play.

The new Town boss has already made three signings in midfielders Tom Whelan, 24, Jak McCourt, 25, and striker Akwasi Asante, 28, so playing time may not be possible for some current Blues players.

'I am always looking to improve the team,' Rowe said. 'Saying that, I have got loyalties to the players in the changing room. The players that have played have done well.

There will be younger ones looking to get out on loan to balance the books a little bit but also so it gives me a chance to see them at a good level. Unfortunately we have not got a reserve team or under-23s here so the only way I can do that, consistently, is for those ones to go on loan but they have got to go on loan to clubs that I am comfortable with and the team they go on loan to mirrors the way I want to play'...

Rowe, who is going to be living in Nottingham so he is closer to the club, believes Chesterfield should have won both of his first two games in charge because Scott Boden’s goal in the draw against Aldershot was wrongly ruled offside in his opinion...

Rowe said 'When we were conceding sloppy goals before I came in a lot of fingers were being pointed towards the back three or back four but actually if you minimise the amount of crosses they are dealing with, or where they are doing it on the pitch, you can turn the ball over and you can attack closer to the opposition goal but also you are stopping the threat at the source.'”

Also at Chesterfield "Keeper Corey Addai has returned to Barnsley following a spell on loan.

Addai was signed on the day of the game at Altrincham match after Kyle Letheren was taken ill. He made his debut that night and also played in the following game, at home to Notts County.

Manager James Rowe is now looking to provide further keeper cover.

He said 'We’re obviously short there because you can’t go with one goalie. Dylan (Wharton) is still quite a young lad, developing. We’ll be looking to strengthen there, for sure.'”

Eastleigh "confirm that we have received a positive COVID-19 test in the camp.

We have followed strict guidelines from the Government and The National League since the outbreak of the virus and will continue to do so as we now enter a 10-day period of isolation.

Therefore, we can confirm that the upcoming fixtures against Wrexham (Tuesday 8th Dec), Halifax Town (Saturday 12th Dec) and Hartlepool (Tuesday 15th Dec) will be postponed and rescheduled....

The person in question was not present on the site at all during our game against Maidenhead on Saturday 5th December".

7 December 2020


Altrincham welcome Woking to the JDS on Tuesday evening.

Last Saturday at Notts County, Woking "suffered their second successive 1-0 loss, late on in this game, when substitute Enzo Boldewijn escaped the clutches of Jack Cook in the area to tee up Kyle Wootton for an easy finish past Craig Ross. The big number 9 had previously been thwarted from the spot by Ross after Cook had been harshly penalised in another ‘soft’ penalty incident. Woking, as they had throughout this tight encounter, battled hard but were never able to test Sam Slocombe, the Magpies’ keeper.

Dowse made two changes from the side which had lost at home midweek to Sutton United, bringing back Charlie Cooper in place of Nathan Collier after the former’s one-match suspension, and favouring Slavi Spasov ahead of Dave Tarpey.

On a dull, cold, still afternoon, at a ground fit to host football at a much higher level, the Cards started the better of the two sides... The Magpies were finding it hard to make progress from the back as Woking harried and closed down but there were signs that new loan signing Tom Walker could cause problems...

Woking had to re-jig their midfield midway through the half when Kane Ferdinand limped off. Tarpey came on, taking up Kretzschmar’s role out wide right, while the latter moved inside...

County were then gifted a penalty. A bizarre ricochet suddenly put a County player in a dangerous position in the area, going to ground under Cook’s challenge. Even the County media people around me thought it was a very ‘soft’ penalty and justice was done when Ross guessed right to palm away Wootton’s strike...

No doubt the Cards would have been happy to see out a goal-less draw against a well-financed and much-fancied side but that hope was shattered in the 80th minute. Cook couldn’t prevent the wily Boldewijn from making sufficient room to open up a short pass to Wootton, presumably just onside, who had the easiest of finishes...

Woking pressed for an equaliser but without ever really creating a clear opportunity. Matt Jarvis came on for the injured Spasov and, later, Jayden Wareham joined the fray in place of Ben Dempsey... Woking will be disappointed not to have managed to hold onto a point, especially given the reprieve of a missed penalty. There was no shortage of effort or commitment but the side lacked that extra bit of quality in midfield and attack...

The Cards must now hope to get something out of Tuesday night’s game at Altrincham...

Woking: Craig Ross, Kyran Lofthouse, Saul Shotton, Jack Cook, Josh Casey, Max Kretzschmar, Kane Ferdinand (Dave Tarpey 27), Charlie Cooper, Ben Dempsey (Jayden Wareham 88), Slavi Spasov (Matt Jarvis 84), Josh Davison. Unused subs: Nathan Collier, Tommy Block.


It's five seasons since Altrincham encountered Woking and some 200 miles lie between the two clubs but for the second successive time The Cards visit the J Davidson Stadium on a Tuesday night, 26 January 2016. For their part, Alty had to pay a midweek visit to Surrey in 2014.

Right: Michael Rankine greets Josh Ginnelly before kick off

In the relegation season of 2015-16, Alty nevertheless beat Woking 3-1 and, in so doing, lifted themselves out of the bottom four with a spirited performance and deserved win. The match was Altrincham's first home league match for nine and a half weeks.

Ahead of that game, Luca Havern joined the list of long/medium term injured players at Altrincham, leaving the club with five senior squad players sidelined. As a consequence, Altrincham had signed Tranmere defender Marcus Holness on loan on the eve of this match and he made his debut in the game. He was just one of four recent loanees in the injury-ravaged Alty squad.

Of the other three, Josh Ginnelly and Jonny Margetts started whilst Dylan Mottley-Henry was named on the bench. James Lawrie, Sam Heathcote, Josh O'Keefe and Damian Reeves joined him as substitutes whilst, for once, Alty named no substitute keeper.

Alty took a 13th minute lead when Woking goalkeeper Cole flapped at an aerial ball prompting a goal-mouth scramble. Although the ball was then half cleared, loanee Jonny Margetts was felled in the process and Michael Rankine blasted home the resulting penalty kick.

Alty's Burnley loanee Josh Ginnelly, who again impressed both with his pace going forward and his willingness to get back and provide cover, made it 2-0 just before the break. He scored from close range after Simon Richman's effort had only been parried.

Woking got back into the game when Giuseppe Sole netted from a 20 yard freekick (57 mins). But Margetts made it 3-1 after 71 minutes when Rankine's nod forward saw him judged to be onside and he finished impressively.

The game got a little feisty but Woking could find no way back as Altrincham deservedly took the three points.

ALTRINCHAM: 17. Tim DEASY, 20. Jordan SINNOTT, 6. Scott LEATHER, 28. Marcus HOLNESS, 3. Adam GRIFFIN, 4. Jake MOULT (capt), 8. Simon RICHMAN, 15. Josh GINNELLY, 19 Ryan CROWTHER, 27. Jonathon MARGETTS, 9. Michael RANKINE. Subs: 7. James LAWRIE, 10. Damian REEVES, 14. Josh O'KEEFE, 12. Sam HEATHCOTE, 26. Dylan MOTTLEY-HENRY. The Robins had not won any of their last five league matches whilst Woking were unbeaten in nine games in all competitions.


Owen Dale scored a spectacular goal for Crewe Alexandra on Saturday.

ON THIS DAY: 7 December

A year ago today, in the Vanarama National League North, on Saturday, 7 December 2019, Altrincham played bottom club Bradford (Park Avenue). Bradford started the game bottom of the table whilst Alty lay sixteenth, but with at least two games on virtually everyone else in the division. They had bowed out of the Cheshire Senior Cup last time out but that had been with eleven changes from the starting team which had done so well against Portsmouth in the previous Saturday's FA Cup tie.

It turned out to be a case of the day after the Lord Mayor's Show as the impressive performance at Fratton Park the previous week dissolved into a sub-standard effort at the Horsfall Stadium.

Nicky Clee came back to haunt his former club as his pass was turned home by Tom Clare in the twelfth minute. Jordan Hulme did hit the woodwork in the first half but, otherwise, Alty laboured to produce a goal threat. To make matters worse, John Johnston pulled up injured and had to be subbed by Luke Wall during the first half.

There was little improvement from the visitors in the second half. Despite seeing a lot of the ball, the home keeper was scarcely troubled.

BPA then added a second in the 89th minute as a counter-attack saw Clee feed Oli Johnson, who rounded Thompson to score.

VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NEWS On Saturday in their live game on BT, play was halted when a Weymouth fan ran onto the pitch and cavorted about inanely. And now Weymouth report that they are "disappointed to announce that following today’s Test event the number of supporters that will be admitted to Tuesday’s game will be reduced.

While we would like to thank the majority of fans who followed the Covid-19 safe practices, a minority let the club down badly.

Despite regular requests from Covid Volunteers, Stewards and the P.A announcements, some supporters failed to adequately social distance in some areas of the ground. Some supporters brought alcohol into the ground while others ignored the smoking ban.

Following discussions with Dorset Police, on behalf of the Safety Advisory Group, a decision on the level of reduction will be announced on Monday.

Fans should be in no doubt that should that event not go as desired, there is every likelihood that the Stadium Safety Advisory Group will refuse permission for fans to attend matches until such times as Covid restrictions are removed completely."

According to NL Daily "Aldershot Town are set to have goalkeeper Brad James for the season.

The Middlesbrough stopper joined Danny Searle’s side on loan in early-November. Having made five appearances for the Shots in that initial stint, it has now been extended to cover the rest of 2020/21.

The Hartlepool Mail tells us that "Hartlepool boss Dave Challinor says his side didn’t deal well enough with Boreham Wood attacker Sorba Thomas during Saturday’s 2-1 defeat at Victoria Park.

Pools dropped to 14th in the National League after two goals from their former midfielder Gus Mafuta, either side of Mason Bloomfield’s equaliser on the stroke of half-time.

The visitors would have felt unfortunate to fall behind just before the break and were able to pin Pools back for large spells in the opening 45 minutes. Boreham Wood strikers Kabongo Tshimanga and Matt Rhead occupied Pools’ back three of Lewis Cass, Tyler Magloire and Ryan Johnson, while the visitors’ wing-backs Kane Smith and Zaine Francis-Angol regularly took up advanced positions.

Thomas also caused problems as he found pockets of space just behind Pools midfielders Nicky Featherstone and Tom Crawford.

'I thought we started the game well and were on top for the first 10/15 minutes', said Challinor when assessing the match. 'They then got a grip of things and we weren’t controlling what Sorba Thomas did, he's a threat and in my opinion is one of the best if not the best in the National League.

'What we needed to do was Cass and Tyler and Jonno needed to deal with him or pass information onto Feds and Craws in front of them and I don’t think we did that well enough'".

The Leader Livereports that "Peter Moore jumped at the chance to help owners-elect Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney so he can 'give back' to a club that has provided him with so many happy memories over the years.

The Hollywood stars are close to completing their takeover of the club and Moore, who completed a three-year stint as CEO of Liverpool Football Club in August and has held high profile roles at the likes of Reebok, Sega and Microsoft, will work as an advisor when the actors take control at The Racecourse.

Once a teacher at Ysgol Dinas Bran, Llangollen, and honourary president of Gresford Athletic who he played for during the 1960s and 1970s, Moore is also a keen Wrexham supporter who saw some of the best teams in the club's history...

Said Moore, 'I got approached by Rob via Inner Circle who are helping the guys. As a lad I went to The Racecourse many times. I played at The Racecourse for Wrexham Schoolboys and was able to enjoy, in particular, the teams of John Neal. The opportunity to somehow provide a little bit of help and my experiences in the world, most recently at Liverpool but in my previous life in video games in particular, and all the way back to Reebok and Patrick, it is a pleasure for me to help'...

The club has been under Wrexham Supporters Trust ownership since 2011 but members voted overwhelmingly in favour of Reynolds and McElhenney taking over...

'Having spoken with Rob as recently as last Saturday at my home in Santa Barbara, we had a lengthy chat which was fascinating for me as to their intentions and their objectives... The sale isn't finalised yet, I think there are still a couple of weeks of diligence'".

The Derbyshire Times have reported that "Chester's joint boss, Anthony Johnson, says full-back Joel Taylor has had his ‘head turned’ following believed interest from the Spireites...

24-year-old left-back Taylor was left out of Chester’s matchday squad against York City and Johnson explained... 'He (Taylor) has had his head turned. There has been interest from a football club'...

Johnson appeared to suggest that Taylor had told him he wanted to leave. 'Do you want to play for that team? Do you want to Leave Chester? "I think so". Okay, you don’t train, you don’t play for us. I get it, it is a higher league club, I understand but, if you are not fully focused on what we are trying to do, then we won’t rely on you. Let’s see what happens over the next couple of days... The club has been dealing directly with me and the gaffer...

'Silly buggers are being played. If you want to turn the lad’s head and ruin his career that’s fine but if you don’t want to play for us then you don’t want to play for us. You either sit in the stand or go out on loan somewhere'...

The attacking full-back won the Blues’ Player of the Year award in 2019/20 and was named in the National League North team of the season... Taylor signed a new 18-month deal at the start of 2020. If Taylor does make the move to the Spireites then he will link-up with his former Chester team-mate Akwasi Asante, 28, who was James Rowe’s first signing after being named manager last month.

Taylor, who started his career at Stoke City, signed for Chester in May 2019 from Kidderminster Harriers."

FC Halifax Town "made it back to back wins for the first time since February with a 5-1 victory away at Weymouth... and moved up to 15th in the table.

Town boss Pete Wild said 'I am really pleased with the result, some really good goals for us. We looked strong with and without the ball. Our energy was good; we have run 134 km in the game, in what was our third game of the week which is phenomenal from the lads...

Wild said, 'It took us a couple of minutes to get into the game and work out their formation as it was different to what they have been playing in recent weeks. We got onto the front foot...

'We looked dominant on set pieces and could have scored more from them today... We maybe could have had more in the first half; we looked solid before the break...

'They came at us at the start of the second half, it was a poor goal to give away and it put us under a little bit of pressure. That play was broken up with the person running on the pitch and it helped kill their momentum, we went up field and Gevaro scored a lovely goal to restore our two-goal lead'...

We have had 9 different goal scorers in the two games which is really pleasing... We need to get a result on Tuesday night [at Aldershot]; we know they will be aggressive. It will be different to what we had to prepare for today, it will be more physical'".

6 December, 2020


As reported yesterday, Altrincham have signed 33 year-old forward Byron Harrison on a short-term deal.

His previous club was Barrow, whom he left at the end of 2019-20 season.

The 6ft 3inch forward started out in Hampshire at Havant & Waterlooville (2005) and also played for a variety of other southern clubs including Worthing in West Sussex, Boreham Wood in Hertfordshire, Harrow Borough in Middlesex, Ashford Town in Kent and Carshalton in Surrey.

In 2011 he returned to Hertfordshire and joined Stevenage Borough, playing there in League One, before dropping to League Two with AFC Wimbledon, where he stayed for two seasons before joining Cheltenham Town and then Chesterfield. A second stint at Stevenage, this time on loan, preceded his release by Chesterfield in 2016.

For 2016-17 he joined Barrow where he had his most prolific spell, scoring 27 times in 56 appearances. Next, he returned to the south of England, on loan to Sutton United.

At the start of 2018/19 season, he signed for Barnet where he netted only twice in that season and was released. A return to Barrow followed for a season (2019/20) in which 24 of his 29 appearances came from the bench and he did not score, before being released.


Although yesterday's postponement was the third Altrincham home fixture to be called off this season, the match against King's Lynn Town was the first due to weather-related conditions. The home matches in October against Bromley and Solihull Moors were deferred for Covid-related reasons.

Despite these postponements, Altrincham have still played the equal highest number of games in the division, thirteen.

Before kick off on Saturday they lay fourth in the table. After the Saturday fixtures they now lie sixth in the league and tenth based on PPG.

The next Altrincham scheduled fixture is again at home, on Tuesday night, when Woking are the visitors.

On Saturday Woking lost 1-0 at Notts County. Before that match "The Cards will have considered themselves unlucky on Tuesday evening as they fell to a narrow 1-0 home defeat against Sutton United, their first home defeat of the season. Harry Beautyman’s controversial penalty in first-half stoppage time proved the difference, and whilst the hosts had a brilliant performance from goalkeeper Craig Ross to thank for keeping the deficit to just one going into the closing stages, late chances for substitutes Slavi Spasov and Jayden Wareham left Alan Dowson’s side reflecting on what might have been.

They’ll be boosted on Saturday by the return of Charlie Cooper from suspension... to strengthen Woking’s midfield options, which have also been boosted by Tommy Block’s return from injury, with the youngster an unused substitute on Tuesday. The likes of Matt Jarvis and Slavi Spasov could also be pushing for a start after making an impact off the bench on Tuesday evening. At the back, defender Jack Cook is just one yellow card away from a suspension.

It’s a quick turnaround for Woking as they travel to Altrincham on Tuesday evening".


The digital programme for Saturday's match against King's Lynn was to contain articles by co-chairman Bill Waterson and Director of Football, Rob Esteva. Both have now been posted on the club's official website.

Bill's article is available here, whilst Rob's article can be read here.

ON THIS DAY: 6 December

With eight Altrincham games played on today's date, 6 December, just since the start of the millennium, December 6th has been a memorable day for supporters of the Club. And that is despite the fact that, in seven of those eight fixtures, Altrincham did not win!

The sole victory recorded since 2000 on 6 January came way back in 2002 in the UniBond Premier League against Radcliffe Borough.

One year's match on this date which is best forgotten is the one played on 6 December 2008 when Alty suffered a 4-0 pasting at Crawley Town.

But can anyone who was there forget the memorable night at Grays Athletic on 6 December 2005 when the floodlights failed and, after a forty-five minute delay to kick-off, Alty secured a point with one of the latest goals from open play in their history in terms of GMT? When Kieran Lugsden scored, in the third added minute of the second half, the clock was approaching 2230 hours!

The supporters' coach got back from Essex to The Vine in Sale at 0310 hours, the next day!

More recently, 6 December 2016 was memorable for another late goal but this time it was one which condemned Alty to defeat 3-2 in the FA Cup Second Round at Colchester United.

Altrincham had been the better side for much of this game but paid the price for defensive lapses, losing to a goal in the fourth added minute at the end of the match. With O'Keefe and Havern both suspended after their dismissals the previous week, with Stuart Coburn, Shaun Densmore and Tom Marshall absent through long-term injuries, Altrincham were short of numbers. So five of Altrincham'd seven subs were youth or reserve players.

Right: Jake Moult is buried under his team-mates after opening the scoring.

Alty got off to a great start when Jake Moult expertly lobbed the United keeper from outside the box in just the third minute. But 11 minutes later Alty gifted the hosts a leveller when Scott Leather uncharacteristically dwelt on the ball and lost possession, with Harriott going on to score.

The start to the second half was even more electric as Rankine scored after 16 seconds but, again, the lead could not be held. When Deasy slid to collect the ball, low down near his right post, the ball escaped his grasp. The resulting cross was headed in by Lapslie at the back post.

Late on Deasy made a couple of fine saves and at the other end, Clee had a great chance to net a third for Alty. But when Leather's clearing header came to Harriott, the United man lashed a shot past Deasy to clinch a very late winner in the fourth and final minute minute of added time. The match was watched by 2,592 supporters, including 398 from Altrincham.

ALTRINCHAM: 17. Tim DEASY, 20. Jordan SINNOTT, 12. Sam HEATHCOTE, 6. Scott LEATHER, 3. Adam GRIFFIN, 4. Jake MOULT (capt), 8. Simon RICHMAN, 10. Damian REEVES, 19. Ryan CROWTHER, 7. James LAWRIE, 9. Michael RANKINE, Subs: 11. Nicky CLEE, 23. Callum WILLIAMS, 18. George BOWERMAN, 21. Joel SWIFT, 24. Rhain DAVIS, 25. Ioannis STOUPPIS, 22. Harry CAIN.


The National League reviews the weekend action saying that "Fans finally returned to National League stadia and the goals certainly flowed for them!

Torquay United... impressed once again with a 3-1 win over Wrexham... and took the points thanks to Ben Whitfield, Asa Hall and Connor Lemonheigh-Evans goals to make it eight wins in nine for the pace-setters.

Sutton shot four goals past hard-to-beat Solihull, who had kept five clean sheets in six matches before their trip to Gander Green Lane. An own goal from Ryan Boot got them up and running with Tobi Sho-Silva, David Ajiboye and Aaron Simpson also hitting the back of the net.

Notts County are up to third; top scorer Kyle Wootton got the all important goal against Woking as the Magpies won for a third match in four.

Stockport County finally returned to National League action, their first game since October ended in an impressive 2-0 victory at Bromley. Summer signings Alex Reid and John Rooney did the business in the capital.

Gus Mafuta came back to haunt his old club Hartlepool United with a fine double as Boreham Wood won 2-1 at Victoria Park. Pools haven’t won at home since the opening day with only one victory in eight.

Harry Panayiotou got what turned out to be the winner as Aldershot claimed a 2-1 success over Dagenham & Redbridge.

The big derby game between Barnet and Wealdstone didn't catch light; it ended without a goal. Maidenhead United are surprising everyone once again; they won for the sixth time in nine league matches. They shocked Eastleigh 1-0 at the Silverlake, Alex Addai scored a 47th minute winner.

In the final clash of the day, FC Halifax Town put Weymouth to the sword in front of the BT Sport cameras."

Aldershot Town "announce >the signing of midfielder Jermaine Anderson on a short-term deal!

The 24 year-old started his youth career at Arsenal, before joining Peterborough United’s youth system in 2012, where he went on to make 76 appearances for Posh... The midfielder also has international experience at youth level with England...

Anderson then spent the 2018/19 season on loan at both Doncaster Rovers and Bradford City, playing 25 times in all competitions for both clubs, scoring twice, before being released by Peterborough United at the end of the season, where he joined Bradford City permanently in January 2019 on a one-year deal, where he made two appearances before leaving at the start of this season".

On Saturday, Aldershot Town reported that "Goals from Mo Bettamer and Harrison Panayiotou gave Aldershot Town their second home win ... in front of the returning home fans.

It was Aldershot who started on the front foot when Bettamer cut inside to fire into the far corner to give the Shots an early lead before Panayiotou tapped home from close-range to add the second... Danny Searle made one change to the starting lineup as James Rowe replaced the suspended Alfy Whittingham...

Dagenham had a chance to mount a late comeback when former Aldershot midfielder Dean Rance hit an effort from distance and James produced a wonderful save to tip the ball around the corner. Shortly after, Rance got his goal with a header from close range in the final minutes of the game to serve up a nervy finish",

Caught Offside tells >us that "If anyone at Wrexham was in any doubt as to the intentions of their new owners, Hollywood stars Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney, the start of filming of a new documentary about the club has made it quite clear...

BBC Sport are reporting that a new documentary is already being filmed. 'They [camera crew] asked to come and follow me the other day to do a couple of bits,' club captain, Shaun Pearson, speaking to Friday night’s Radio Wales Sport, cited by BBC Sport, said. 'I expected maybe two people to turn up and next thing I know there’s a couple of black vans, three cars and about 10 people jump out, all at my house'...

'We’ve not been told what the line of it is going to be; we just know that they’re filming on a daily basis,' he added. 'It’s not going to be purely football as they’re getting out and about within the town with different people...

'The big thing for us as a group of players now is that it becomes another motivation – can we be the group that takes the club up?'".

Saturday's defeat was obviously not part of the script.

At Barnet "The Bees had their chances... but had to settle for a point on our first game with the Bee Army in attendance.

The Bees started brightly once again but the first clear opening of the match fell the way of the visitors... Up the other end, Inih Effiong almost opened the scoring as he headed an effort just over the crossbar...

There was controversy on the stroke of half-time as Fonguck looked to have slammed home into an empty net after an almighty scramble in the six-yard box, the Stones 'keeper went down with a suspected head injury which the referee initially waved away. But as the ball hit the back of the net, the ref pointed for a free-kick.

The teams went into the break level... The Bees best chance of the match fell the way of Effiong as his diving header from six yards out, went over the crossbar... Both sides showed plenty of endeavour in the final stages but neither could find that all-important opener, leaving both sides having to settle for a share of the spoils... Beadle's side showed promise but they just need to break their duck in front of goal".

Across London, Dagenham & Redbridge, who entertain Alty next Saturday, report that they "fell to a 2-1 defeat against Aldershot Town at the EBB Stadium.

It was the hosts who took the lead after seven minutes... Aldershot nearly doubled their lead when Toby Edser’s shot from 20-yards out drifted just wide... Danny Searle’s men did add their second of the game with just over half an hour gone...

Chike Kandi’s nearly added Aldershot’s third after a fine move from the hosts... The Shots were able to maintain their two-goal lead heading into the interval...

Daggers manager Daryl McMahon made two changes for the start of the second-half with Sam Deering and Angelo Balanta being replaced by Myles Weston and Dean Rance... The Daggers made their final change with just over 20 minutes to go as Darren McQueen came on to replace Scott Wilson...

The Daggers finally got their goal in the 89th minute when Rance headed in a cross from the left-hand side... The visitors came close to equalising when Brundle’s header went narrowly wide...

Daggers: Justham, Wright, Clark, Croll, Johnson, Ogogo ©, Brundle, Balanta (Rance 46’), Wilson (McQueen 68’), Deering (Weston 46’), McCallum. Unused Subs: Strizovic, Clements, Weston."

Eastleigh "failed to pick up any points at home in a 1-0 loss to Maidenhead as fans are welcomed back to the Silverlake for the first time this season.

Despite a promising start, Ben Strevens’ side couldn’t capitalise on chances created and went into the break goalless...

Two minutes after the restart, disaster struck for the home side as Alex Addai hit the ball into an open goal after Joe McDonnell couldn’t stop a Maidenhead attack following a mis-judged clearance... At 90 minutes Josh Coley was sent off for bringing down Smart as the last man, Ryan Hill took the free kick but drilled it at the wall".

Hartlepool United relate that "Former Pools player Gus Mafuta returned to The Vic for the first time since leaving in the summer and sealed the tie as Pools were defeated 2-1 [by Boreham Wood].

A shaky opening 15 minutes led to neither side creating any clear cut chances. Molyneux continuously looked a threat for Pools...

The first goal of the game came after 37 minutes, when the Boreham corner bounced around in the box and it was struck by former Pools man Gus Mafuta who made it 1-0 to The Wood.

Hartlepool continued to search for the equaliser before the half time whistle... That Pools goal finally came right on the brink of half time. A ball into the box was scrambled of the goal line by Ashmore but Mason Bloomfield was at the right place at the right time to slot in his first league goal of the season.

Challinor’s men started the second half with the dominance of possession... Pools were once again regretting those missed chances as after 66 minutes, it was that man again Gus Mafuta who picked up the ball around 25 yards out and fired in Boreham Wood’s second after the defence failed to close him down...

A disappointing night for Dave Challinor and his team".

FC Halifax Town "ended a wonderful week with a commanding 5 v 1 win away to Weymouth at the Bob Lucas Stadium. As the goals flowed against Barnet [in midweek] there were first goals of the season for Nyal Bell, Jake Hyde and Martin Woods. On the South coast there were first goals of the season for Danny Williams, Niall Maher, Gevaro Nepomuceno and Tom Bradbury.

Pete Wild made one change to the starting line-up that destroyed Barnet in midweek with Kieran Green replacing Jack Earing and they picked up where they left off just 3 days earlier...

The Shaymen soon took control with Luke Summerfield and Martin Woods pulling the strings in front of a dominant back line...

6 points and 10 goals in 3 days would make the long journey North home a happy one".

At Notts County "Kyle Wootton scored late on to make amends for an earlier penalty miss and earn us a deserved victory over Woking.

It had threatened to be a frustrating afternoon for Wootton and the team, with the forward uncharacteristically squandering several opportunities only to bag the winner late on thanks to a brilliant assist from substitute Enzio Boldewijn.

Neal Ardley had made two changes to the side held to a 0-0 draw at Dagenham in midweek. Richard Brindley, who missed the visit to East London with an ankle knock, came in for the bench-bound Adam Chicksen in a move which saw Dion Kelly-Evans switch to left back.

In attack, winger Tom Walker was handed his first start as Boldewijn took his place among the substitutes...

A frustrating first half... ended with a rare chance for the visitors...

There were no changes at the break...

Boldewijn, who along with Rodrigues's earlier replacement Jim O'Brien was having an excellent impact off the bench...expertly controlled Doyle's forward pass, held off his defender and showed superb composure to roll the ball to his right for Wootton to apply a close-range finish... Our goal never looked in much danger as we recorded our third consecutive clean sheet, stretched our unbeaten run to five matches and rose to third place in the table".

We learn from Solihull Moors that "James Ball’s second goal in as many games couldn’t save Moors from slipping to a 4-1 defeat at Sutton United.

Against second in the National League table, Moors rallied after the break but ultimately fell to just their third league loss of the season.

Moors made a promising start but Sutton took a fortuitous lead via Moors stopper, Ryan Boot’s head, after Isaac Olaofe had seen his long-range effort hit the woodwork.

As the first half wore on, Jimmy Shan’s team came under the cosh, and the U’s doubled their advantage when Tobi Sho-Silva finished after tidy work from David Ajiboye.

But at the start of the second period, the visitors flew out of the traps. The half was barely two minutes old when Ball headed Jamie Ward’s clipped delivery into the bottom corner. A comeback looked on but as Moors pushed forward, Sutton capitalised, Olaofe played in Ajiboye who had time to round Boot and slot home.

Then as the game neared its conclusion, substitute Aaron Simpson made the points safe, his deflected shot giving Boot absolutely no chance late on. It was a tough one to take for Moors who were unable to impose their game style on Matt Gray's side".

Stockport County "roared back into action after over a month away with a superb 0-2 win at high-flying Bromley, in a fixture which saw the return of spectators at Hayes Lane.

Goals either side of the interval by Alex Reid and John Rooney secured three points for The Hatters in London...

Boss Jim Gannon named a line-up which showed three changes to the side that started in the dramatic 3-2 FA Cup win over Yeovil Town last Sunday, with James Jennings, Lois Maynard and Richie Bennett replacing Jamie Stott, Ash Palmer and Ryan Croasdale. Croasdale took a place on the bench, whilst defensive duo Stott and Palmer both missed out through injuries picked up during the week.

The Hatters fielded a 3-4-1-2 formation from the outset, with James Jennings returning for his first start since the 2-5 win at Wealdstone in mid-October to slot into a back three alongside Jordan Keane and captain Liam Hogan.

Alex Reid and Richie Bennett both started in attack for the first time together since the 4-0 FA Cup replay win over Chesterfield exactly a month prior, in an attacking County line-up at Hayes Lane.

The hosts, who headed into the tie in excellent form with no defeat in their last six outings, spurned a glorious chance to take the lead inside the opening five minutes...

It was The Hatters who took an early lead on the quarter of the hour mark. John Rooney rose highest to head goalward and although the midfielder’s header was hacked off the goalline, the clearance cannoned straight into Alex Reid and into the back of the Bromley goal...

Bromley’s leading goalscorer Michael Cheek ensured that the visitors’ lead remained intact just before the interval, as he spooned Joe Kizzi’s cross over the bar from close-range with a glaring miss...

Sam Minihan replaced the goalscorer Reid for the resumption of proceedings... County landed another blow on the hosts bang on the hour mark, however, when substitute Minihan rolled a cross into the box which the talismanic John Rooney picked up and calmly slotted home to double the lead".

Torquay United "enjoyed a winning return to Plainmoor, as United ran out 3-1 winners over Wrexham. Ben Whitfield gave United the perfect start, with the lead soon doubled by skipper Asa Hall from the penalty spot. The deficit was almost immediately reduced by Theo Vassell though, and the fans had to wait until deep into the second-half for Connor Lemonheigh-Evans to put clear daylight between the two sides once again.

United manager Gary Johnson made one change to the starting line-up that defeated Wealdstone away last time out, with Fraser Kerr making his full debut for in place of Ben Wynter, following the former’s brief cameo appearance on Tuesday evening...

There was less than five minutes on the clock when Lemonheigh-Evans produced some magical play... delivering a delightful cross-field pass that found Whitfield... His low right-footed effort beat Christian Dibble at his near-post to give the Yellow Army a goal they had been waiting since February to celebrate...

Things got even better in the 17th minute... The referee was ideally placed to spot the ball strike a Wrexham hand, and promptly ordered a penalty. Hall himself stepped up to take it, confidently smashing the ball high into the net to make it 2-0...

Wrexham pulled one back... two minutes later. Durrell’s whipped delivery found Vassell rising highest inside The Gulls’ 19-yard box, with the defender making it count by glancing his header into the net...

[On 74 minutes] Lemonheigh-Evans slammed the ball home from eight yards, after a favourable bounce aided his cause... A restricted and socially-distanced 975-strong crowd" attended the game.

5 December 2020


According to Director of Football, Rob Esteva, on the Altrincham FC website, the club has signed Barrow forward Byron Harrison on a short-term deal.

The 33 year-old, whose career started at Havant & Waterloville, made 29 appearances (only five of these were starts) for the Cumbrians last season, without scoring, after an earlier spell there from 2016-18 had seen him make 56 appearances and score 27 times. Other clubs for which he has played include Sutton United and Stevenage, where he had loan spells, and Cheltenham Town.


Saturday 5 December 2020

  • Aldershot Town 2-1 Dagenham & Redbridge
  • Altrincham P-P King's Lynn Town [Waterlogged]
  • Barnet 0-0 Wealdstone
  • Bromley 0-2 Stockport County
  • Dover Athletic P-P Chesterfield [Positive Covid tests at Dover]
  • Eastleigh 0-1 Maidenhead United
  • Hartlepool United 1-2 Boreham Wood
  • Notts County 1-0 Woking
  • Sutton United 4-1 Solihull Moors
  • Torquay United 3-1 Wrexham
  • Weymouth 1-5 FC Halifax Town


Today's match at Moss Lane against Altrincham has been postponed following a pitch inspection.

Earlier Altrincham FC had announced that "There will be a precautionary pitch inspection at 8am on Saturday morning ahead of King's Lynn Town's departure from Norfolk to Cheshire for a 3pm kick-off in The Vanarama National League.

Rain is forecast overnight but is expected to clear by 6am and there is little or no rain forecast until kick-off and, at this stage, we believe that the chances of the game going ahead are good."


King's Lynn were scheduled to make their first visit to the J. Davidson Stadium this afternoon (3pm)

King's Lynn Town announced before the game was postponed that they "will look to bounce back from Tuesday’s defeat against Bromley when they travel to Altrincham.

Like the Linnets, Altrincham were promoted to the National League this season, winning the National League North play-offs and have made a good start to life at Step 1 and are currently in 4th place with 18 points from 13 games, with a home record of 2 wins, 1 draw and 3 defeats. Unlike Lynn, Altrincham games don’t have many goals with them scoring 12 and conceding 13.

The game last season at The Walks ended 2-2 with both goals from Adam Marriott, the away game did not take place due to football being suspended.

Rory McAuley is again a doubt for Lynn with a back injury whilst fellow centre back Kyle McFadden is likely to miss out after coming off injured against Bromley. Aaron Jones is progressing well from injury and maybe included in the squad.

Lynn’s last 2 games, against Portsmouth and Bromley, have seen 12 goals but unfortunately for Lynn fans only 2 have been in the right end. Altrincham have only lost once in their last 5 games, keeping a clean sheet in 3 of them.


In a preview of Saturday's games, the National League states that "Fans are back in some National League grounds this weekend - and so are the BT Sport cameras.

It gives those lucky Weymouth supporters the chance to see their team kick a ball in Step 1 for the first time in a decade [against FC Halifax Town]...

Shaymen manager Pete Wild was quick to stress there is so much more to come from his squad despite them knocking five past Barnet on Wednesday night. His counterpart Brain Stock believes we have not seen all Weymouth have to offer, either [saying]... 'I truly believe the fans make a real difference for us, and we could have had one or two extra points on the board if they were here' he told the club’s audio service.

'When I was a player I really connected with the supporters. But then again, if you get a few bad results as a manager the fans are there to tell you about it!... If we can stay up it gives us the platform to try and progress the club on a longer-term basis'...

Stock has seen his side even win at Stockport... 'When you don’t score goals it’s always a huge concern,' he added after three months at the helm. 'But the players have since made a big impact. We’ve got more bodies in the box, the lads have taken what we said on board. We’re now getting goals from midfield... We were losing by the odd goal; teams are hard and organised in this league. They are mainly full time.

'When teams get that first goal against us it’s very difficult. Teams’ game management is excellent...

'One of the biggest lessons I learnt was from Eddie Howe, who I was with in Bournemouth. He made the transition from player to manager very quickly... I know a few of these players from playing with them. It’s little things like calling me gaffer instead of Stocky. I’ve been really pleased with the players I have known personally'...

FC Halifax manager Wild has warned the rest his team can do 'five or six things' better than they did when they put five past Barnet in midweek... He told the Halifax Courier, 'It’s easier said than done, it’s not Football Manager. They’ve got to turn up again. When they walk over that white line, it’s up to them... and they’ve got to go and deliver.

'They delivered on Wednesday and they’ve got to deliver again on Saturday... There’s certainly four, fix, six things that could be better than Wednesday and that’s what, slowly but surely over the next few weeks, we’ve got to keep working on and keep getting better at. But we’ve got a group of men that want to learn and want to implement a style of football.'”

At Yeovil Town "Club Director Errol Pope has resigned from his position on the YTH and YFAC boards.

Resigning with immediate effect, Pope stated 'As a consequence of the current global pandemic and its devastating impact, this decision has been taken with a heart laden with regret.

'I am saddened that these unprecedented circumstances of uncertainty and plight have prohibited my plans and contributions to the Club, in the way and of the magnitude, I had hoped'".

Eastleigh report that "Over 25 million seconds have passed, 7152 hours, or 42 weeks, but the Spitfires will finally welcome fans back to the Silverlake on Saturday in the first of two consecutive home fixtures.

Ben Strevens’s side will be hoping to make it four League wins in a row at the weekend after brushing aside Yeovil Town 1-3 during the week.

Striker Ben House is now the National League’s joint-third top scorer with six goals in just eight games. However, Maidenhead’s Sam Barratt (9), Bromley’s Michael Cheek (7) and Tom Denton (7) of Chesterfield have all played three fixtures more than House.

There are no new injury concerns after Tuesday’s win and Abdulai Baggie will be in contention to re-join the matchday squad. Michael Green will also be available again after serving a one-match ban for his sending off against Wealdstone.

Alan Devonshire’s Maidenhead side are one of six teams, Eastleigh included, that will all start the weekend on 17 points.

It has been a campaign of mixed form so far for the York Road outfit. After losing their opening three fixtures, they then went on a five-game winning run including impressive wins over Notts County and Wrexham.

The Magpies currently sit in 9th place after 11 games and will be keen to bounce back to winning ways after a 2-0 defeat to Altrincham last weekend.

Top scorer Sam Barratt, who signed permanently from Southend for Devonshire’s side in September, will be the player to watch having already scored three braces and a hattrick this season. "

ON THIS DAY: 5 December

The last time Altrincham played on today's date, 5 December, was in 2009 when they played out a goalless draw in Cambridgeshire against Histon. Histon had seen financial upheaval earlier that season when their chief backer moved on. But the team had stabilised and lay 12th, just one point and one place behind Altrincham.

Right: Anthony Danylyk competes in the air with Nathaniel Knight-Percival as Chris Senior awaits the outcome.

It was a Blue Square Premier match played on a gloomy Saturday with the floodlights on from the very start, at the referee's request. Before kick off (and afterwards!) Altrincham had yet to win at Histon, having lost 1-0 on both previous visits. But the Robins had beaten the Stutes at Moss Lane earlier in 2009 season, a 2-1 win back in August.

In this return fixture, Altrincham took a deserved point and, indeed, went the closer of the sides to scoring, with Naisbitt the much busier goalkeeper. Overall, the game was hardly a classic and heavy rain in the second half did not help. Williams forced a fine save and Senior was also denied by the Histon keeper as the visitors gave a strong team performance based on a solid back three, with Densmore and Doughty getting forward up the wings.

For Alty Colin Little had been ruled out through illness and Chris Denham was unfit to start. Altrincham adopted a 3-4-1-2 formation with Robbie Lawton sitting behind a new front two formation of six-feet-four John McAliskey and five-feet-six Chris Senior. Shaun Densmore and Matt Doughty were employed on the flanks with Anthony Danylyk and Tom Kearney in central midfield. At the back, James Smith was flanked by Greg Young on his left and Robbie Williams to his right.

Histon had lost their potent weapon of Gareth Gwillim's long throw when the defender was injured in their preceding midweek fixture. Adam Tann was also unfit with a gashed leg. So Neil Andrews, Kieran Leabon and Callum Stewart came into the side as Sam Long also dropped out. Both Leabon and Stewart were making their Histon Conference debuts.

ALTRINCHAM (Yellow and blue shirts, blue shorts and yellow socks): 1. Stuart COBURN, 2. James SMITH, 12. Robbie WILLIAMS, 5. Greg YOUNG; 6. Shaun DENSMORE, 4. Tom KEARNEY, 16. Anthony DANYLYK, 3. Matt DOUGHTY; 7. Robbie LAWTON (capt); 19. Chris SENIOR, 17. John McALISKEY. Subs: 13. Russell SAUNDERS, 10. Chris DENHAM, 11. Nicky CLEE, 18. Michael WELCH, 21. Andrew PEARSON

4 December 2020


Both of Altrincham's loanees from Crewe Alexandra have returned to The Railwaymen.

First to go was midfielder Joe Robbins, whose month-long loan ended after he had made four starts and one appearance from the bench.

And on Thursday Crewe Alexandra confirmed that they had "taken the decision to recall defender Billy Sass-Davies [right] from National League side, Altrincham.

Billy's team-mate Joe Robbins has also returned following the completion of his loan deal.

We'd like to place our thanks on record to both Altrincham and Phil Parkinson for helping both of our players during their time with the Robins".

For their part, Altrincham FC stated that "Billy Sass-Davies's loan spell with Altrincham has been cut short after he was recalled by his parent club, Crewe Alexandra.

The powerfully-built centre-back was recruited for a second loan spell with the Robins by manager Phil Parkinson on November 6th after an injury to Toby Mullarkey left Alty low on numbers at the back...

Now, ironically, it is a mounting injury crisis at Crewe that has forced them to notify Alty that the defender is wanted back at the League One club with immediate effect.

The 20 year old returns to Gresty Road with the best wishes of everyone at The J.Davidson Stadium after he followed up his substitute appearance at Wealdstone by reeling off starts against Solihull Moors, Aldershot, Chesterfield, Boreham Wood and Bromley and signing off by helping protect the Robins' 1-0 lead as a late sub at Wrexham on Tuesday night.

Midfielder Joe Robbins is also heading back to Crewe after his loan spell expired. Joe made a favourable impression during and after his debut in Alty's 1-0 win at Dover Athletic on October 31st, and everyone at the club thanks him for his contribution".

Footnote: Sass-Davies and Robbins bring to four the number of players who have played for Alty in the National League this season but are no longer at the club, following the earlier departures of Darren Potter and Max Clayton who both failed to settle at the club.

Although Sass-Davies made two substitute appearances during a previous loan spell at Moss Lane, the other three players mentioned have never been seen in the club's colours by any paying supporters at Altrincham and now, it seems, they never will be.


Access to the streaming of Saturday's home match for Altrincham against King's Lynn Town can be acquired via the Altrincham FC link.

King's Lynn Town have had an up and down spell since February. Their last six matches of 2019-20 comprised four defeats a draw and a solitary win. The new season started promisingly with a home draw against Yeovil and a fine win at Maidenhead United.

But four successive league defeats followed, against Solihull, Boreham Wood, Weymouth and Wealdstone. However, these were followed a sequence of three league wins out of four fixtures, with victories against Woking, Barnet and Dover but a heavy 5-1 defeat at Sutton.

Another heavy defeat, 1-4 at home to Bromley took place last Tuesday, just after losing 6-1 at Portsmouth in the FA Cup. King's Lynn have conceded the most goals in the division, 28 in 11 league games and they currently lie fourteenth with thirteen points.

Illness has kept Michael Gash sidelined, apart from a brief cameo in the FA Cup at Portsomouth, whilst Adam Marriott has not been fully fit since last season and has only completed 90 minutes in one match this campaign. So last season's attacking potency has been reduced. Nevertheless, they have netted 17 league goals.

Long-serving keeper Alex Street has been displaced by Norwich City loanee Archie Mair this season, whilst outfield new arrivals include Kyle McFadden from Sligo Rovers, Kairo Mitchell from Dartford and Cameron King from FC Halifax Town.


Brian Flynn's post-match audio interview from Tuesday night is available on the Altrincham FC site.

And the Sale & ALtrincham Messenger reports that "Phil Parkinson set his sights high after Altrincham made it 12 points out of 15 with a 1-0 win over Wrexham that lifted them into the National League play-off places at The Racecourse on Tuesday night.

A bullet header from Ritchie Sutton just before half-time proved decisive, as Alty built on Saturday’s 2-0 win against Maidenhead United...

'We set our standards high and ideally want to control games, because our view is that the best form of defence is attack,' said the Alty boss. 'If we can find a level of consistency playing that way and give our front lads the chance to get at teams, we will start scoring more goals. That’s the aim, to be a free-flowing, free-scoring team.

'I am delighted with our position in the table and recent results, but I do think there is a lot more to come from this team. I will keep demanding more from them, because I know we can do a bit more than we are doing in possession. When we get that, we will be really comfortable at this level'".

As regards Sutton [right], the Alty boss added, 'He is an exceptionally good player, and that was an inspirational header for the goal. You don’t play as many games in the Football League as he has if you are not consistent and professional in the way you go about your job. I’ve known about him a long time, and it was perfect timing when he decided to transition into non-league.

'I thought we looked really comfortable out of possession after the opening exchanges, when we rode our luck a bit. We showed our mettle, our steely side, but there was nothing lucky about the win; we thoroughly deserved what we got out of it. The run we have been on is down to a lot of hard work by everyone at the club and proof that you get your rewards for that.'"


King's Lynn Town visit Altrincham on Saturday.

The Linnets report that "Tuesday evening saw Lynn on the end of a 4-1 loss to play-off chasing Bromley, although between the two penalty areas the Linnets more than matched their opponents and if chances were taken it could well have been a different score line.

Above: Alty got all ten outdfield players behind the ball to defend this freekick at The Walks in the only previous meeting between Altrincham and King's Lynn on a very windy afternoon in November of last year. Only four of those ten Alty men (Moult, Hannigan, Hancock and White) started Alty's game last Tuesday against Wrexham.

Ian Culverhouse made four changes from the Portsmouth defeat; Jordan Richards, Cameron King, Kairo Mitchell and Ryan Jarvis all being recalled. Rory McAuley missed out with a back injury.

Lynn had a glorious chance to take the lead on 7 minutes when... an unmarked Mitchell put his effort over the bar with only the Bromley keeper to beat.

Bromley took the lead on 22 minutes when Kyle McFadden appeared to win the ball just inside the Lynn half, however the referee disagreed giving a free kick and booking the Lynn player. Following some arguing between both benches a yellow card was shown to a member of coaching staff from each team. The free kick was floated into the Lynn area where James Alabi headed past Archie Mair.

Lynn almost equalised shortly afterwards after good work by Power saw his effort go just over...

Despite Lynn matching Bromley and having a lot of the ball, it was the visitors who extended the lead on 42 minutes when a counterattack saw leading scorer Michael Cheek convert a cross. Bromley then scored their third in injury time this time through Liam Trotter.

Lynn pulled a goal back on 52 minutes, Power picking the ball up after a corner was cleared and curling an effort around the keeper from the edge of the box.

Any hope of a Lynn comeback was over just 3 minutes later when Hackett-Fairfield’s low drive found the bottom corner.

Lynn suffered an injury blow on 64 minutes when Kyle McFadden went off to be replaced by Tai Fleming for his debut...

Lynn will now look to get back on track when they travel to Altrincham this Saturday.

Lynn: Mair, Barrows, Smith, Jarvis, McFadden (Fleming 64), Brown, Richards, Clunan, Power, King (Carey 67), Mitchell (Southwell 67). Subs not used: Marriott, Loza


The Leader Live reiterates that "Wrexham endured a frustrating night as the five-game unbeaten run was ended by Altrincham.

The Reds dominated the first half at The Racecourse and had good chances to take the lead but the visitors scored what turned out to be the only goal just before the break when Dean Keates's side switched off from a corner.

In the second half, Wrexham were less creative and failed to scored an equaliser, falling to seventh in the National League as a result of the loss.

Here's how the players rated:

  • CHRISTIAN DIBBLE: 7; REECE HALL-JOHNSON: Sometimes nervy at the back, 6; FIACRE KELLEHER: Captain for the night, Kelleher was solid, 6; THEO VASSELL: Hit the crossbar with an early chance, 6; JAMIE RECKORD: Like Hall-Johnson, he was an attacking outlet but had some lapses, 6; PAUL RUTHERFORD: Couldn't fault work rate, 6; LUKE YOUNG: Covered a lot of ground, 6; JORDAN DAVIES: Supplied some useful balls into the box when Wrexham were on top, 7; ELIOTT DURRELL: Put himself about but unable to break his former side down, 6; ADI YUSSUF: Didn't have any real chances despite some good balls into the box, 6; KWAME THOMAS: Bicycle kick was saved before the break and was frustrated second half, 6; ANTHONY JEFFREY: Didn't really get into the game, 4; DAN JARVIS: Late substitution, 4".


The Leader Live reports that "It's been a privilege being allowed to watch Wrexham matches when thousands of Reds' supporters haven't had their live football fix. I have travelled far and wide reporting on Wrexham for the Leader over the last 16 years, and there have been a lot of games I'd rather not have gone to during the National League struggles!...

I appreciate how important it is for fans not able to get to matches to be updated on how their beloved Reds are getting on... This has been even more invaluable to supporters since the pandemic meant games have had to be played behind closed doors. Not every fan has been able to stream matches so as the Wrexham FC journalist for the Leader, it has been a way of letting fans keep up to date with how their side is doing and I have been able to go to all the games.

Unfortunately that won't be the case on Saturday.

Torquay are only letting a limited number of media people in at Plainmoor for their clash with Wrexham and I will unfortunately miss out.

I was told 'The welcome return of fans to Plainmoor has greatly reduced our capacity and facilities for media personnel inside the ground'... The Gulls will be allowed to have fans at their ground for the first time in the 2020-21 season but the capacity has been significantly reduced, and no Wrexham supporters will be allowed to attend.

Even more reason, you would think, to give journalists access and help keep Reds' fans around the world informed about how things are going in Devon".

More on Covid restrictions in the National League comes from Aldershot Town where "The club would like to re confirm (as included in our ticketing terms & conditions) that ALL supporters must wear masks for the duration of their time within all areas of the stadium whether in seated areas or terraces.

We have been contacted by a small number of supporters who have expressed concern that medical reasons exclude them from being able to wear a close fitting mask. In line with National League guidance we are able to offer those supporters the option of wearing a full face visor.

However it must be clear that there is NO option available under any circumstance of entering or remaining in the ground if neither a mask or a visor is worn.

In line with current regulations the club wishes to confirm that due to the increased risk of viral transmission, Smoking or Vaping is not permitted anywhere within the stadium including the 3 areas away from the stands areas that are normally reserved as “Smoking Areas”, these areas are suspended until further notice".

According to the Maidenhead Advertiser, "A significant hurdle has been overcome in Maidenhead United's plans to move to a new stadium at Braywick Park.

Last week the Royal Borough's cabinet agreed in principle to sell a 3.7 hectare area of land at Braywick to the club, subject to the Magpies receiving planning permission... But in principle the council is willing to sell the land at its market value of £460,000 for a 999-year lease.

Both the club and the council will now undertake further consultation with key stakeholders on and around the site before a planning application is submitted. Magpies' CEO Jon Adams couldn’t give a definite timeframe on when that will be and stressed that while this is a significant step, there’s still a ‘long way to go’.

Concerns about the development have already been raised by Maidenhead Rugby Club, who neighbour the proposed development site, however...

Said Adams 'It’s a huge step and we’re obviously grateful to the council for the support it has shown for us'...

The plot of land has been independently valued by the local authority’s property company and Adams stated that the council wouldn’t sell the land to the football club until there had been further consultation with key stakeholders and approval of the plans from the planning committee.

At that point Maidenhead United would pay the fee for the lease and begin the process of relocating from York Road.

Said Adams, 'We now have to go through the next stage of development with the object of achieving a planning consent... It would be wrong to set a definite timescale at this point but our desire is to do it as quickly as possible. One of the big issues which we’ve always been committed to, but has also been highlighted during this decision making, is the consultation that needs to go alongside this'".

The Hartlepool Mail advises that "With 10 games played, Pools currently sit 12th in the National League table on 15 points, two outside the play-off places...

And Hartlepool’s run of games going into 2021 could see them play eight league matches over the next month, providing they all go ahead as planned.

When asked how long it will take for the league table to take shape, [manager, Dave] Challinor said 'About 40 games probably! But I think after Christmas you’ll have a good idea where you’re at. It’s a cliche but we need to be getting as many points as we can as soon as we can, the first target is always 50 and as soon as you get to that great.

'Then you start looking where you are in the table, we’ve got to be realistic and we’ll be looking at the season in monthly blocks in terms of the games we have... We started the season five unbeaten now we need to start putting another run together over a busy schedule'".

The Hartlepool Mail also informs us that "Joe Bunney’s experience will be ‘invaluable’ for Hartlepool United over the next month, according to manager Dave Challinor.

The 27 year-old made his Pools debut in Tuesday night’s 2-0 defeat at Solihull Moors less than 24-hours after signing a short term deal at the club... Challinor feels bringing Bunney to Hartlepool is a smart piece of business as he hopes to extend the versatile defender’s stay beyond the new year...

Said the Hartlepool manger, '[David Ferguson] has got a little niggle but nothing too serious so Joe coming in was a no-brainer with his flexibility. He’s a great pro with brilliant quality. He’s got a real calmness and quality with what he does, his experience will be invaluable over the coming games. It’s a short term deal but hopefully we can extend that longer.'

Bunney had been playing in the Northern Premier Premier Division with Matlock Town during the early part of the campaign and made just two appearances during an injury-hit spell at Bolton last season.

'He’s a little bit short fitness wise but he’s a really good pro,' Challinor added. He’s technically very good with a great left-foot, he’s a good organiser even though he’s not a screamer, he uses his experience, he’s reliable and you can trust him'"

The Derbyshire Times states that "Spireites' boss James Rowe wanted to bring in new signings Jak McCourt and Tom Whelan because he felt he needed more options in central midfield.

McCourt, 25, was a free agent after last being at Macclesfield Town and has joined on a month-to-month contract.

Whelan, 24, signed for an undisclosed fee from Weymouth. Both came on in the second half against Aldershot Town on Tuesday night.

On McCourt, Rowe said 'We just want to assess him and the only way you can assess him is giving him game time. He has got very good technical ability, he showed that with his passing range when he came on. He can play as a ‘four’ or an ‘eight’, where Curtis Weston played tonight, so he can be box-to-box, he has got the legs to do that especially when he gets fitter... He just needs to get up to speed, he has not had a lot of football in the last three months'.

Rowe said that Whelan is a ‘technical’ and ‘powerful’ player and his deal is more long-term... 'He gets in the box, he scores goals but also he can create. He is a good age, 24, so I am hoping he will be a really good signing for the club and that is why he is here. He was a big part of Weymouth’s promotion push.. He will be here for next year as well... With Milan Butterfield we only had three central midfielders and we need more than that because I am going to play with a three in there whether we play 4-3-3 or 3-4-3. I always want to overload that middle area so we need more midfielders and those two fit the bill and are raring to go.'"

In the Leader Live "Paul Rutherford insists Christian Dibble is a better goalkeeper than he gets credit for. Dibble began last season in the Wrexham side with first choice stopper Rob Lainton out injured but, after a promising start, a series of mistakes set in.

Replaced by the fit-again Lainton in October, Dibble was then restricted to cup appearances...

'Dibs speaks for himself,' said Rutherford, with the goalkeeper handed a starting role in the absence of Lainton when Wrexham faced Altrincham. 'He is a top quality goalkeeper.. He is great around the place and he makes sure that his spirit is always up. He brings a lot more to the table than just playing and then when he plays, you see how good he is in his ability...

'I always felt a bit sorry for Dibs to be honest with you because last year was not a true reflection of what Dibs was. The season before, he came in and did a great job'...

Against Bromley, after Dibble pulled off a string of fine saves, Adi Yussuf rescued a point for Wrexham... Rutherford provided the assist for Yussuf, delivering an inch perfect cross that was headed home by the striker".

On Wednesday night, FC Halifax Town "beat Barnet 5-2 at the Shay Stadium in the Vanarama National League.

First half goals from Jeff King, Nyal Bell, and Jake Hyde were added to by Jack Earing and Martin Woods. Barnet managed two consolation goals... It took just over 20 seconds for Town to take the lead. Jack Earing picking up the ball in midfield before driving forward. A through ball found Jeff King sprinting into the box and his first time shot found the bottom corner...

Halifax doubled their lead on the 22nd minute thanks to Nyal Bell on his home debut... Just before the half time break and Town had their third. Jake Hyde getting his first goal for the Shaymen...

It did not take long for Town to get their fourth of the game. Just two minutes into the second half and Earing had his first of the game... Less than ten minutes later and The Shaymen made it five. Town won a free kick 20 yards from goal following a handball. Martin Woods fired a perfect strike, going in off the bar, leaving Loach no chance...

Barnet earned a consolation just over 20 minutes from time. The ball fell to Muhammadu Faal who spun away from the Town defenders, before scuffing a low shot past Sam Johnson to make it 5-1.

With just seven minutes left on the clock, Barnet pulled a second back. Faal got into the box before getting a shot off. The shot deflected towards the back post and it fell to Inih Effiong who bundled it past Johnson".

Meanwhile their opponents Barnet "made the worst possible start as the Shaymen opened the scoring in the opening 30 seconds as Jeff King fired past Loach... It was shakey start for Beadle's side, whilst the Shaymen came flying out the blocks..

Manager Peter Beadle said, 'I'm dumbfounded, embarrassed, we can't be a Jekyll and Hyde team. We can't put in a performance like we did on Sunday and then perform in the way we did tonight, it's unacceptable. It doesn't bare [sic] thinking about how good we were Sunday and how poor we were tonight. It's tough to take.

'It's the same team, with two changes. The preparation has been the same, it was good. We prepared well, everything was covered and 27 seconds in that work goes out of the window. It gives us an awfully long amount of time to get back into the game, it's hard to put your finger on.

'We go in there and talk to them, the third goal just before half time was absolutely awful defending and the games is done, then it's about personal pride and trying to cause them some problems. Then two and a half minutes in, we concede another goal... It's like we didn't want to know, it is completely unacceptable.

'I am just as dumbfounded as the supporters, we've put in two decent performances in the last two games and built ourselves a platform and now we're back to square one. We seem to be getting ourselves one step forward then three or four steps back every time. In the general play, we have looked quite good going forward, but we are punished. It's a results-driven business and I get that, we have to be more clinical in both boxes.

'I don't know where that performance came from, it's not one we were expecting... I know we will turn this round, we have got to have players who are accountable and we have to be accountable as staff'".

The Somerset County Gazette confirms that "South Somerset District Council (SSDC) has approved the purchase of Huish Park and other land owned by Yeovil Town Football Club today (Thursday).

The proposal was on Thursday's District Executive agenda, and its approval means that the council is set to purchase the main property and land assets at Huish Park and lease [them] back to the club.

The intention is to help ease the club’s short-term financial concerns, a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and the prevention of crowds from attending Yeovil’s National League matches".

3 December 2020


Despite Dagenham having a far higher rate of Covid infections than Trafford, the first paying spectators to see Altrincham in the league this season are expected to be those of Dagenham and Redbridge, who host Altrincham on Saturday week (12 December). Dagenham, in common with all of the London Boroughs has been placed in Tier Two of the Covid restrictions whilst Trafford, in common with all of Greater Manchester, has been assigned to Tier Three.

Dagenham & Redbridge FC report that "The club is working with the local safety advisory group to admit supporters for our game against Altrincham, further information will be released later this week."

Alty have not played at Dagenham since April 2007 when The Daggers were en route to promotion to League Two that summer. On that occasion the Daggers won 4-1. Pictured, above, are Alty fans at that match in 2007.


Wednesday, 2 December:
  • Dagenham & Redbridge 0-0 Notts County
  • FC Halifax Town 5-2 Barnet

Notts County's draw meant they stay behind fourth-placed Altrincham.


Duncan Watmore scored both goals as Middlesbrough beat Swansea City on Wednesday evening. In the National League, Jeff King, sent off in the first minute of his lats game, and making his return for FC Halifax, after a three-match ban, this time scored in the first minute for FC Halifax Town. Former Alty loanee, Nyal Bell also scored as the Shaymen romped to a 5-2 win over Barnet.


Alty entertain King's Lynn Town this Saturday. The clubs had contrasting fortunes on Tuesday night as Alty won at Wrexham but the Linnets were thrashed at home 1-4 by Bromley.

The Eastern Daily Press reports that "King’s Lynn Town suffered another FA Cup hangover... Their first round win at Port Vale was followed by a thumping at Sutton United; this time it was Bromley who rubbed salt into the wounds of the 6-1 loss at Portsmouth at the weekend.

Lynn were 3-0 down at the break; a combination of their own poor finishing and an inability to defend at set-pieces, and while Simon Power pulled one back early in the second half, the visitors quickly restored their advantage and were rarely troubled.

Manager Ian Culverhouse made four changes from the weekend. Rory McAuley was missing with injury, while Sonny Carey, Jamar Loza and Adam Marriott started on the bench. In came Jordan Richards, Ryan Jarvis, Cameron King and Kairo Mitchell...

The early stages were scrappy... Alabi got a header to steer it past Mair on 22 minutes... Three minutes from half-time [the keeper] could do nothing to prevent Michael Cheek from scoring from close range...

On the stroke of half-time Trotter made it 3-0 when he fired home from close range after Lynn again failed to deal with a free-kick into the box.

Lynn were back in with a shout on 51 minutes when Power picked up the loose ball from his own corner on the left and returned it with interest into the far corner

But four minutes later Bromley restored their three-goal advantage: King lost possession and Reeco Hackett-Fairchild fired it past Mair...

Lynn huffed and puffed for the remainder of the half but rarely troubled the visitors’ goal. It was a disappointing night, not helped by the loss of Callan-McFadden with what looked like a hamstring injury. Culverhouse will be hoping that he isn't without both Callan-McFadden and McAuley for the weekend trip north to Altrincham.

King's Lynn Town: Mair, Barrows, Smith, Callan-McFadden (Fleming 64), Brown, Jarvis, Clunan, Richards, Power, Mitchell (Southwell 66), King (Carey 66). Subs not used: Loza, Marriott".


Manager "Dean Keates reacts to Wrexham's 'frustrating' defeat at the hands of Altrincham" in the Daily Post, "following Wrexham AFC's first loss in six games

Dean Keates cut a frustrated figure after watching his Wrexham side concede from a set-piece to lose against Altrincham. Robins centre back Ritchie Sutton’s header in the 43 minute was enough to separate the two sides...with Wrexham dropping down to seventh place...

'It is massively frustrating that we have cost ourselves with a set-play, because on the flip side of things we had four great opportunities but that is something we need to learn from and quickly,' admitted Keates. 'Set pieces are massive part of today’s game, even more so at our level. We pride ourselves on clean sheets, but to concede in that manner and the timing were big blows.'

The Dragons started the game off on the front foot and had two golden opportunities from set pieces inside the opening 10 minutes...

'In the first half, we were undoubtedly the better side, we created a number of chances and we got around the back of their full-backs a lot,' he said. 'And then the goal comes just before half-time and it’s a real body blow, especially when we know its avoidable. In the second half, the energy and tempo that we saw in that first half, just wasn’t there.'

Keates made four changes to the side that drew at Bromley on Saturday and with the ever-congested fixture list at the moment, the club do have the quality to make such alterations. But with usual first-choice goalkeeper Rob Lainton still injured... 'We’ve had to play without a sub keeper, we have tried to add but we have to follow protocols,' said Keates.

'It took 36 hours to get a response between the English FA and Welsh FA, so it has not been ideal on the goalkeeping front. We brought [defender] Reece (Hall-Johnson) in tonight because he gives us that athleticism and I thought we could really attack Altrincham from those wide areas'...

Wrexham travel to league leaders Torquay United on Saturday, who are unbeaten in their last seven games and are yet to taste defeat on home soil. The home side will also be boosted by the return of some home fans".

In the Post's match report they write that "Wrexham started off particularly bright[ly] and it was the home side who nearly opened the scoring after just three minutes, when Theo Vassell’s header from Jordan Davies’ inviting corner rattled the under-side of the bar.

The Red Dragons proved to be threatening from set pieces in the early exchanges and with just 10 minutes gone, they threatened once more from a dead-ball scenario. This time, captain Fiacre Kelleher saw his header loop over the keeper, but ultimately over the bar from Elliott Durrell’s set-piece...

Altrincham slowly began to get the ball down and play some football of their own, but were unable to create anything meaningful... The visitors took undeserved lead after 43 minutes when Sutton rose highest to head in from Ryan Colcough’s floated corner.

Altrincham continued their late first half dominance into the second with Colclough and Matty Kosylo both going close within a couple of minutes of second half action...

Wrexham pressed for an equaliser late on, but were unable to break a strong and well organised Altrincham defence".

ON THIS DAY: 3 December

Nine years ago today, in a BSB North game played on Saturday, 3 December, 2011, Altrincham travelled to The Shay where they beat FC Halifax Town 4-2. The Shay had not been a particularly happy hunting ground for Altrincham, with just one win recorded in nine previous visits.

Right: Damian Reeves scored Alty's second goal but, following it, it was Jack Redshaw who ended up at the bottom of the celebratory pile at Halifax. As well as Damian (no.10), Simon Richman, Matt Flynn (no.2) and Anthony Danylyk (no.4) are on the scene.

Alty's new loan signings, Matthew Flynn (from Fleetwood) and Adrian Hawes (from Alfreton) started, whilst a third new loanee Adam Dodd, (from Blackpool), was on the bench. Lees, Twiss and Williams were also on the bench as Lee Sinnott rang the changes.

Ex-Alty men in the Halifax team were defender Ryan Toulson, midfielder Tom Baker and former loanee, striker James Dean.

In a first half which saw poor defending from both sides, Altrincham opened up a two-goal lead inside 14 minutes.

Damian Reeves put them ahead in the 11th minute when he cleverly lobbed the keeper following a long ball up the middle. The second goal came from good work by Clee, with Reeves's flick seeming to cross the line before team-mates arrived at the back post to make sure.

But Rainford made it 2-1 after the Alty defence stood off him and he exchanged passes with Baker, who fed the scorer. Garner equalised after 41 minutes when his shot from outside the box left Coburn flat-footed. But Jack Redshaw fired Alty ahead again in the 43rd minute from a Clee pass.

Alty had the better of the second half and Jack Redshaw settled the outcome with a fine long-range shot after 72 minutes. It could have been even better as a late penalty from Reeves was saved (88 mins). Halifax and Alty each had a goal ruled out for offside as Alty cruised to the final whistle, with Dodd impressing after coming on as a substitute. Matt Flynn also impressed at the back.

The referee was Mr Steven Copeland who, coincidentally, reffed last Saturday's Altrincham win over Maidenhead United!

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Stuart COBURN, 2. Matthew FLYNN, 5.Adrian HAWES, 6. Adam FLYNN, 3. Ryan BROWN, 7. Simon RICHMAN, 4. Anthony DANYLYK , 8. Shaun DENSMORE (capt), 11. Nicky CLEE, 9. Jack REDSHAW, 10. Damian REEVES, Subs 12. Adam DODD, 16. Michael TWISS, 14. Mark LEES, 18. Adam REID (gk), 15. Rob WILLIAMS


The National League reports that "There was a show of strength from the National League leaders on Tuesday night and plenty more besides. Torquay United proved they are up for the title fight after coming from behind to win at Wealdstone.

Danny Parish put the Stones ahead but Gary Johnson’s high flyers are made of strong stuff; Billy Waters's deadly double arrived in the final half an hour to turn it around... with a minute left.

If Waters didn’t turn it on, Sutton United would have topped the table. They won impressively 1-0 at Woking thanks to ever-reliable midfielder Harry Beautyman.

Bromley are third and are now unbeaten in six as they won very well away from home. Neil Smith’s on-song side came away from King’s Lynn Town with a 4-1 win...

What Yeovil fans would give to be in their position; they went down to a fifth home defeat in a row as Eastleigh romped to the points. Top scorer Ben House again hit the mark as the Glovers are still winless...

Solihull Moors have now won five from seven in the National League and put in an impressive display to beat ten-man Hartlepool United 2-0. Krystian Pearce and Jimmy Ball grabbed the goals as they close the gap on the top seven.

Altrincham put in perhaps their best display of the season as Ritchie Sutton got the winner as the Robins won 1-0 at improving Wrexham.

There was no separating Chesterfield and Aldershot in the 7pm kick-off as James Rowe somehow didn’t get back-to-back wins as the Spireites new manager."

Meanwhile Aldershot Town confirm that "The National League’s Chief Executive, Michael Tattersall, is leaving his current role at the end of the year, December 31st.

Joining in November 2015, Tattersall, 45, has overseen a period of sustained growth of the Competition, increasing its profile and commercial value. Tattersall, has also been influential in the integration of an innovative six-team play-off structure and the formation of the National League Football Academy".

At Barnet "The Bees have bolstered their attacking options with the short-term loan signing of Stevenage striker Inih Effiong

Effiong joins on a one-month loan deal from League Two side Stevenage and gives manager Peter Beadle an extra option in the striker position...

Bees fans will be no stranger to Effiong, who recently featured for fellow National League side Dover Athletic... Following the 2019/20 season, the striker joined Stevenage where he has made 13 appearances in all competitions so far this term."

According to the NL Daily, "Dover Athletic have confirmed that the club’s next four matches have been postponed.

The National League fixtures are to be rearranged following a player testing positive for COVID-19 in the squad.

The positive result came ahead of Tuesday’s game at Maidenhead United, which was also subsequently postponed.

With Dover staff and players now in self-isolation for 14 days, their games against Chesterfield, Solihull Moors, Wrexham and Wealdstone have been called off for the time being."

Before Wednesday's match Notts County manager Neal Ardley reported that he expected "to be without Damien McCrory and Wes Thomas for tonight’s trip to Dagenham and Redbridge, but believes the pair are nearing a return to action.

McCrory has bone bruising on his knee and Thomas is recovering from a kidney stone...

'Damien was back out on the grass for the first time on Monday,' said the boss. 'He’s a bit of a warrior, he’s desperate to train but it’s not until he runs that the pain really comes... Wes is also back training but we’re trying to look after him... We don’t think he’s going to be far away but it’s a case of building him up over the next couple of weeks'...

We travel to East London with the hope of securing a hat-trick of victories, having scored six goals on our way to wins over Chesterfield and Wealdstone.

Dagenham... come into the match on the back of a gruelling Emirates FA Cup tie away at Mansfield on Sunday, which they lost in the depths of extra time.

But Ardley [said]... 'They’ve done quite well in their last two games; they got a great point at Sutton, which is a tough place to go, and they pushed Mansfield all the way. I think they’ll feel they’re in a good place... They played a back four on Sunday against Mansfield and they’ve played with back threes as well. They’ve got some good players in their squad'".

FC Halifax Town reported, before their midweek game, that they were returning "to action at the Shay on Wednesday night with the visit of Barnet.

Town were defeated 1-0 courtesy of Harry Beautyman’s first half penalty at Sutton at the weekend and Pete Wild’s side will be looking to bounce back at home...

[Ex-Alty midfielder] Jeff King returns to the squad following his three-match ban."

In advance of Wednesday's match, Dagenham & Redbridge hoped " to make it three unbeaten in the Vanarama National League as a formidable opponent arrives in east London.

Notts County come into this match sitting 7th in the league on 16 points... trailing leaders Torquay United by 6 points.

Unbeaten in their last three outings, The Magpies most recent performance was a convincing 3-0 win over Wealdstone. Notts are reportedly without former Daggers man, Damien McCrory, as well as Wes Thomas and Callum Roberts, all of whom may be absent from the squad due to injury...

Players to Watch:

  • Enzio Boldewijn: The 28-year-old Dutch winger has had an exceptional season thus far... always a threat when cutting in from the left side of the pitch.
  • Connell Rawlinson: The 29-year-old central defender earned the honour of Notts County Player of the Season.
  • Rúben Rodrigues: The first-ever Portuguese player to represent the club, Rodrigues joined Notts in August from Dutch second division side Den Bosch. A promising signing for the Magpies, Rodrigues has netted twice in seven league appearances in his debut season."

Bromley "made the trip to Norfolk on a freezing cold Tuesday evening to take on a newly promoted King’s Lynn side... The chances soon flowed for both sides.

It was the hosts who perhaps should have opened the scoring... However, the Ravens would take the lead on 21 minutes, thanks to James Alabi. An excellent free kick was whipped into the box by Chris Bush and flicked on by Kizzi, allowing Alabi to stoop and help it beyond Archie Mair with his head.

At the other end, Simon Power was a constant threat for King’s Lynn, and fired over the bar twice in quick succession... However, one would soon become two. Excellent counter attacking play between Michael Cheek and Luke Coulson saw the former play the latter in on goal, only to have the ball pulled back to him for a simple, sweeping finish.

Bromley weren’t done yet though, and made it three in injury time. Yet again, a Bush free kick played a huge part, and it was Trotter who would profit with his first Bromley goal, prodding in from an angle to make it three.

In the second half, it was King’s Lynn who would start the better of the two, and would strike first. Power, who continued to impress, took advantage as Bromley failed to clear the second ball from a corner and curled home a precise effort from the edge of the box.

But the Linnets’ optimism was short lived, as three minutes after that, Bromley grabbed a fourth... Hackett-Fairchild... lashed home a stunning effort from the corner of the box.. The Ravens saw the rest of the game out professionally, going on to make it six games unbeaten, as well as maintaining an unbeaten away record this season".

At Yeovil Town on Tuesday, the "search for a first league win continued as Eastleigh were the 3-1 victors at Huish Park.

Two first half goals from Ben Strevens’ side built a comfortable advantage which was only added to in the second.

Joe Quigley did find a goal in the second half as he bundled the ball home following a corner, but that did little to inspire a comeback as Yeovil fell to another defeat.

After adopting a 4-3-3 formation in the FA Cup, Darren Sarll opted for more of the same on Tuesday evening. Adam Smith began in goal, with Gabe Osho, Josh Staunton, Luke Wilkinson and Carl Dickinson making up the back four. The midfield three was unchanged as Charlie Lee began alongside Albi Skendi and Matt Warburton.

The attacking three saw a debut for Tom Knowles on the right flank with Chris Dagnall and Courtney Duffus alongside him.

Despite defensive reinforcements, struggles at the back continued as it took just seven minutes for the visitors to open the scoring... Ultimately it wasn’t to be as the Glovers fell to another National League defeat".

2 December 2020


Wrexham almost took an early lead when Vassell headed Davies's cross firmly against the bar in the third minute. And during the rest of the first half several other Wrexham crosses and corners looked dangerous but Alty dealt with them and Thompson had no real save to make before half-time. Goalkeeper Dibble at the other end was likewise underemployed

Alty enjoyed a good passing spell as half-time approached and, when they won a corner on the right, Sutton rose well towards the back post to power a header into the roof of the net above Rutherford who was on the line (44 mins). So Alty led at half-time.

A superb second-half performance saw Altrincham relatively comfortably preserve their lead against a disappointing Wrexham team. Alty now lie fourth in the league albeit having played more games than anyone else. On a PPG basis Altrincham lie twelfth.

Match report here.


Tuesday, 1 December:
  • Boreham Wood P-P Weymouth
  • Chesterfield 0-0 Aldershot Town
  • King's Lynn Town 1-4 Bromley
  • Maidenhead United P-P Dover Athletic [Positive Covid tests at Dover]
  • Solihull Moors 2-0 Hartlepool United
  • Wealdstone 1-2 Torquay United
  • Woking 0-1 Sutton United
  • Wrexham 0-1 Altrincham
  • Yeovil Town 1-3 Eastleigh


Next Saturday Altrincham entertain King's Lynn Town as the National League North champions make their first-ever visit to the J. Davidson Stadium. They were scheduled to visit Moss Lane on no fewer than three occasions last season.

Initially the game was set for Saturday 22 February, a date well before the Covid restrictions came into play. But it was moved to a Tuesday night, 31 March 2020, only then to be brought forward by a week to 24 March. And that meant it fell foul of the curtailment of the league season and the game was never played!

The sides did meet down in Norfolk on 2 November 2019 when Altrincham secured a late equaliser to make it 2-2.

King's Lynn Town who, on Tuesday, were playing Bromley at The Walks, reported that "Following on from Saturday’s FA Cup defeat at Portsmouth the Linnets will look to their last two league games for confidence, games they won without conceding a goal, beating both Dover and Barnet 2-0.

Managed by ex-Tottenham, Gillingham and Fulham player Neil Smith, Bromley are currently 8th in the league and unbeaten away from home with 2 wins and 2 draws...

Kairo Mitchell returns to the Lynn squad after being cup-tied against Portsmouth. Michael Gash will again be named in the matchday squad after playing 10 minutes on Saturday following his illness. Other than Aaron Jones, Ian Culverhouse has a full squad to chose from".

ON THIS DAY: 25 November

Three years ago today, in an EvoStik Premier match played on Saturday, 2 December, 2017, Altrincham won 2-1 in Derbyshire against Mickleover Sports. This was the first ever clash betweeen the clubs.

Above: Alty line up before kick off on a gloomy afternoon in 2017 at Mickleover.

After making nine changes in midweek for their Integro Cup tie at Mossley, Altrincham reverted back to their strongest available squad.

However, Simon Richman was unavailable as he served his three-match suspension and also unavailable were Josh Amis and Sean Miller (on loan at Colne) as well as Laurence Taylor (on loan at Hednesford Town). John Disney remained injured and James Poole, James Jones and Lewis Short had all missed recent matches, through injury, but Jones was back on the bench today. Harrop started and Sheridan was on the bench.

What had promised to be a routine win when Alty had taken a 2-0 lead inside half an hour, ended with the Robins defending in depth for much of the latter stages, which included some six added minutes, after Mickleover had scored in the 85th minute.

Earlier, John Johnston had got in a low cross which keeper King fumbled to allow Tom Peers to give an 18th minute lead. The second goal arrived eleven minutes later when Shaun Densmore's shot span forward off a defender to Jordan Hulme. From an acute angle, right of goal, Hulme got the ball into the net off the back post.

The second half was a disappointing and, at times, physical affair in which Alty were increasingly on the back foot. In the 85th minute Alty failed to clear a long throw and Garnett arrived at the back post to head home. The match became tetchy towards the end with Tony Thompson's blatant timewasting earning him a deserved yellow card.

But Alty held on with a battling performance to secure all three points.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Tony THOMPSON, 2. Shaun DENSMORE, 3. Connor HAMPSON, 4. Tom HANNIGAN, 5. Ben HARRISON, 6. Jake MOULT (c), 7. John JOHNSTON, 8. Max HARROP, 9. Jordan HULME, 10. Tom PEERS, 11. Josh HANCOCK. Subs 12. James JONES, 14. Joel BEMBO-LETA, 15. Mason WALSH, 16. Sam SHERIDAN, 20. Tim DEASY.


On Tuesday nught, Craig Mahon scored for Curzon Ashton v Chorley. Owen Dale added the final goal as Crewe defeated Swindon 4-2 and John Johnston played well as Chester defeated Alfreton Town.


Before Tuesday's match, the Leader Live reported that "Christian Dibble [son of former Alty 'keeper Andy Dibble] has put last season's difficulties behind him and has vowed to make the most of his run in the Wrexham side.

Restricted to just a handful of appearances in his first two campaigns after arriving at The Racecourse in the summer of 2017, Dibble started the opening 16 league games of the 2019-20 campaign with first choice stopper Rob Lainton sidelined due to an ankle injury.

But after making a promising start, Dibble's form dipped and a series of mistakes set in before he was replaced by the fit-again Lainton in October, and the 26 year-old was then restricted to cup appearances before the season was ended abruptly due to the coronavirus crisis.

Dibble got his first action of the current season at Bromley on Saturday when he came on for Lainton, who suffered a nasty head injury, and he produced a man of the match display as Wrexham drew 1-1 to extend the unbeaten run to five games and climb up to fourth in the National League.

Set for a starting role when the Reds face Altrincham at The Racecourse this evening, Dibble said... 'It is very hard sometimes being number two and not playing a lot of games... I have totally put last year away, it doesn't matter to me now'...

Dibble can expect a run of games in the side with Lainton unable to return just yet... Said Dibble 'We are back at home under the floodlights at The Racecourse and hopefully get three points'...

[On Saturday], Lainton was taken to hospital but was able to travel home with his team-mates... Said Dibble, 'He had been knocked unconscious and couldn't remember what had happened'...

Although Bromley took the lead following a lengthy stoppage, Dibble made several vital saves and was unlucky to concede a goal but Adi Yussuf equalised to secure a point.

'You have just got to be confident,' said Dibble... 'We have got a good point on the road but we are disappointed with a point'.

Reds' boss Dean Keates was delighted to report that... 'Rob was back in yesterday, the doctor has assessed him and he was in good spirits', said Keates... 'We have got a date within the protocols that we are looking at and what we are governed by when he will be back'...

Lainton joins captain Shaun Pearson and Mark Carrington on the sidelines".

Hartlepool United "announce the signing of Joseph Bunney on a short term deal.

Bunney, who is six foot five, has spent his career playing as both a forward and a full back bringing both flexibility and experience to Challinor’s side.

Bunney began his career with spells at Lancaster City, Kendal Town, Stockport County and Northwich Victoria. He made his EFL debut for Rochdale in 2013 and during his time with the Dales, he was converted from a forward to a defensive player where he then went on to play 160 times... He moved to Northampton Town at the start of 2018... He also had a loan period at Blackpool and former club Rochdale in the 2018/19 season before moving to Bolton last year. Bunney then had a short spell with Matlock Town at the beginning of this season.

Dave Challinor added [that hewas 'Delighted to sign Joe at what is a very busy period for ourselves. His quality, experience and flexibility to play in various positions will be a big plus to the squad. In the sessions he’s been with us you can already see that he’ll fit in seamlessly’".

Meanwhile, Bromley report that last weekend they "drew 1-1 against visitors, Wrexham, at Hayes Lane in a frantic game.

Early on in the first half, Wrexham attacker, Kwame Thomas, passed to Wrexham captain, Paul Rutherford, who produced a dangerous cross, for only Chris Bush to clear. However, the game was overshadowed by what appeared to be a serious injury to Wrexham goalkeeper, Rob Lainton. A through ball was played to James Alabi, with the Bromley striker appearing to accidentally collide with Lainton. After the lengthy delay, which lasted over 35 minutes, occurred whilst Lainton was receiving treatment and ushered off by Paramedics, the first half resumed once again.

Shortly after the delay, it was The Ravens who took the lead. Reeco Hackett-Fairchild found Billy Bingham, and the Bromley midfielder skilfully glided his way past the Wrexham defence and was through on goal. Bingham forced a great save out of Wrexham substitute goalkeeper, Christian Dibble, but the ball fell to Cheek who smashed in the rebound. It was the striker’s 7th goal of the season...

In the second half, Bromley started the game with real purpose. Luke Coulson’s corner found Cheek, who rose high, only to see his header hacked off the line by the Wrexham defence...

With less than 20 minutes remaining, Wrexham had their first real opportunity in the game to level the score. Elliot Durrell was found in acres of space and shot to Mark Cousins’ right side, to force a good save from the Bromley goalkeeper.

Minutes later, Wrexham’s pressure paid off. Paul Rutherford delivered a cross to the back post where Adi Yussuf rose above two challenges and placed his header into The Ravens’ net, despite Cousins getting a hand on the effort.

1 December 2020


Altrincham travel tonight to in-form Wrexham who have not looked back since their Hollywood-connected takeover was announced.

The match is being live streamed and details are here.


In the Leader Live "Dean Keates says Wrexham are below his opening 10 games points-target heading into tonight’s home game with Altrincham.

Wrexham go into the fixture with 17 points from a possible 30 and Saturday's 1-1 draw with Bromley extended the unbeaten run to five games, taking the Reds up to fourth in the National League...

'We are 10 games into it and we are a couple of points down on where we feel we want to be which is disappointing,' said Keates. 'But it has been stop-start. We have picked up a few niggles, had a Covid break, lost two games on the bounce and had a great reaction of the back of that'...

Altrincham, promoted via the National League North play-offs last term, sit 10th after beating high-flying Maidenhead at the weekend and Keates is expecting the Robins to go all out for three points. 'Altrincham have an expansive way of playing and they will come here trying to win a football match,' said Keates.

'Most of the teams that have come up this season have come up with that philosophy and identity that they are trying to do; go out there and gain as many points as you can and as quick as you can. Altrincham have had some decent results, they beat Maidenhead who are up there challenging, so we have got be at our best to get three points but I know it will be a difficult game...

'What will be a bit different is the physicality probably won't be at the level of severity that we came under in the previous two games against Sutton and Bromley. Altrincham are very different in their approach'".


Altrincham play away at Wrexham tonight (Tuesday). The match should bring a reunion with Elliott Durrell who left Altrincham over the summer after a brief but productive stay with the club.

The clubs were last in the same division in 2015-16. The game at the Racecourse that season ended 3-1 to the Welshmen, on 12 September 2015.

Then, as now, Altrincham arrived at Wrexham with an injury weakened side (Coburn, Clee, Richman, Griffith, Marshall and O'Keefe were missing and Havern was only fit to start on the bench), Alty gave a decent account of themselves against an impressive Wrexham. Alty fell behind in unfortunate circumstances. Moult lost the ball but Jennings's shot took a huge deflection off Leather to loop over Deasy into the net (20 mins).

Alty almost got to half time without further loss but, on 42 minutes, Densmore was penalised and from Vose's fiercely driven freekick, Hudson headed in at the back post.

Alty had their best spell early in the second half when the industrious Rankine scored with a shot from the edge of the box after Sinnott and Lawrie had broken forward up the middle (50 mins).

Eight minutes later Rankine almost had his entire shirt removed by a defender but play continued and from the resulting cross, Gray netted.

Wrexham report that "Altrincham are back at the top level of non-league football, and have the look of a side which won't be looking over its shoulder this season. A solid start was followed by a mid-November wobble, but they arrive at The Racecourse in fine form, having won 3 of their last 4 matches. With high-flying Maidenhead their most recent victims; a week after a fine win at Borehamwood, clearly The Robins shouldn't be under-estimated.

Altrincham's up-and-down form can partly be explained by the odd look to their fixtures so far. Everyone's campaign has been disrupted, of course, but it has left The Robins with a very lop-sided schedule. They had to endure five consecutive away games at the beginning of the season but, since then, have played 5 home games out of 6. Subsequently, this is only their second away game since Halloween, but their away form is terrific: they've lost just 1 in [their last] 5 games on the road, winning 2 of their last 3.

Matty Kosylo has crossed our paths many times in recent seasons, and remains one of the most mercurial characters in the National League. An aggressive little winger, full of pace and energy, he can go either way, and will track back assiduously...

He can get into trouble with officials - this would have been the second game of a three-match ban he picked up after a red card he picked up last Tuesday, but the punishment was rescinded. He can also win matches though: his showreel is spectacular, with clean strikes of the ball from the edge of the box a speciality".

Courtesy of the late Mike Garnett's data, the historical record in matches between our two clubs is, as follows,

  • At home: P7-W1-D3-L3-F5-A10
  • At Wrexham P7-W2-D3-L3-F8-A12
  • All P14-W3-D6-L6-F13-A22


Tom Hannigan recently reached his 150th appearance for Altrincham and tonight (Tuesday) it should be Josh Hancock's turn to reach the same landmark, after 138 starts and 11 appearances from the bench to date.

Josh leads the Altrincham league scoring charts this season with three goals so far, two of which have been penalties.

Now thirty years of age, Josh signed at Altrincham from Nantwich Town in May 2017 having come through The Dabbers' youth set-up before moving on to Winsford United (2009-10). Next, he joined Witton Albion and made more than 150 appearances for the Northwich club, for whom he scored some fifty times.

He next joined AFC Telford United before a return to Witton, which preceded a move to Salford City and then a return to Nantwich Town in January 2016.

Josh ended the 2017-18 season as Altrincham's top scorer in the league with twenty goals to his name and achieved the same accolade in both 2018-19 and 2019-20. He has scored 62 goals for the club in his 149 games to date.

ON THIS DAY: 1 December

Two years ago today, on 1 December 2018, a Saturday, Altrincham journeyed to Northamptonshire and beat Brackley Town 2-1. Prior to the game, Brackley had lost just one home game at St James Park that season but Altrincham arrived unbeaten in their previous six league matches, a run which had included five wins

Above: Simon Richman is cheered by some of the good number of travelling Altrincham supporters after scoring his goal. Meanwhile (foreground), Brackley's Shepherd Morombedzi hangs his head in disappointment.

After this deserved win in a Vanarama National League North match, Altrincham moved up to fourth in the league.

Facing a Brackley team lacking its leading scorer, James Armson, Altrincham took a fortieth-minute lead. The goal arose from a mistake by the home goalkeeper, Lewis, who failed to hold a shot and the ball ended up with Simon Richman who netted from six yards. But, just a minute later, the scores were level again. The lively Miles got up the right wing and crossed to Adam Walker on the left. His cross from the left was headed home by Glenn Walker.

Eight minutes after the interval Altrincham scored the deciding goal. Right-back Andy White advanced and cut in from the right before firing a fine, left-footed, low shot past Lewis. After that Altrincham largely controlled the game.

With Owen Dale's loan period terminated, there was a first start for new loanee Kallam Mantack, who had marked his debut the previous week with a goal within three minutes of leaving the subs' bench. Brackley were only able to name four players on the bench.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Tony THOMPSON, 2. Andy WHITE, 3. Connor HAMPSON, 4. James JONES, 5. Tom HANNIGAN, 6. Jake MOULT (c), 7. John JOHNSTON, 8. Simon RICHMAN, 9. Jordan HULME, 10. Josh HANCOCK, 11. Kallam MANTACK. Subs: 12. Max HARROP, 14. Dontai GABIDON, 15. Josh LANGLEY, 16. Shaun DENSMORE, 20. Elliot WYNNE.


Monday 30th November
  • Canvey Island 0-3 Boreham Wood

The surviving non-League clubs all secured home ties in Round Three with attractive opposition...

  • Chorley v Derby Coumty
  • Marine v Tottenham Hotspur
  • Stockport County v West Ham United
  • Boreham Wood v Millwall


Woking report that "The Cards begin a hectic December schedule on Tuesday evening when Sutton United will be the visitors to the Laithwaite Community Stadium...

Woking will go into the game off the back of successive high-scoring victories, having added an impressive 4-1 win over Barnet to the 5-1 success at Dover Athletic four days earlier. Last time out, a stunning strike from Kane Ferdinand, his fifth of the season, as well as a Barnet own goal, gave Alan Dowson’s side an early two goal advantage.

Charlie Cooper’s untimely red card, given for two yellows inside two minutes, looked to have swayed the game back towards the visitors, but second-half strikes from Max Kretzschmar and Dave Tarpey deservedly ensured the hosts took home all three points, despite Barnet’s late consolation from the penalty spot.

The Cards will now face a huge test of their play-off credentials, with eight games spread across the next 28 days, including six league matches.

Sutton currently sit three points and one place above the Cards in second, with six wins and two draws from their first 10 games, whilst their goal difference is also near identical with just one more goal scored, and the same number conceded. On Saturday they ended a three-match league run without a victory as they defeated FC Halifax Town 1-0 thanks to an early Harry Beautyman penalty...

The Cards will be without Charlie Cooper following his sending off against Barnet. Dowse will be hoping that Tommy Block, who’s been out injured for the past month, will be fit to return in his place. Alternatively, Max Kretzschmar could drop into a deeper role alongside Kane Ferdinand and Ben Dempsey, with Matt Jarvis coming back into the starting line-up.

Ben Gerring, an unused substitute for the past four games, has joined Oxford City on loan as he continues his return to full fitness.

Sutton United boss Matt Gray was appointed as Sutton boss in May 2019 following the resignation of long-time stalwart Paul Doswell. Gray had already been at the club since the previous December as part of Doswell’s coaching team. Eastleigh report that their "League game against Woking on Monday 28th December, which will be shown live on BT Sport, has now been assigned a kick-off time.

The festive fixture will kick off at 12:30pm, live in front of the BT Sport cameras at the Kingfield Stadium.

The game was one of BT Sport’s original TV picks prior to the 2020/21 campaign kicking off, and it will be the second time the Spitfires play in front of the BT cameras so far this season".

Wealdstone, "host league leaders Torquay United at Grosvenor Vale on Tuesday evening off the back of a 3-0 defeat to Notts County, which saw the Stones drop one place to 5th in the league table.

Torquay have dropped only four points so far this season and last played on 21st November where they won away at FC Halifax Town. The Stones are without Connor Stevens as he remains a few weeks away from a return to fitness. Moses Emmanuel and Alex Dyer also missed Friday night's fixture away to Notts County with injuries and both remain a doubt."

At Solihull Moors "After over a month, football returns... and Moors TV are delighted to bring you all the action.

Having narrowly missed out on a place in the FA Cup Third Round, Moors’ attention now switches back to the league as they entertain Hartlepool United on Tuesday night

Their first league encounter in almost three weeks, Jimmy Shan’s men will want to make up for lost time and claim all three points against Pools...

Moors were left disappointed by last week’s news that, as a result of Solihull being placed in Tier 3, the return of fans will be put on hold so we have decided to bring yet more of the matchday experience to your living room... Further details on how to get involved in the draw and the prizes on offer, will be released on the day of the game."

Hartlepool United "will be looking to push on from the past two unbeaten games as they head to Solihull Moors...

Solihull currently sit 13th in the league table with playing two fewer games then Pools this season...

Jimmy Shan, who was appointed last February, certainly didn’t wait around when the summer transfer window opened. 18 new signings came through the door at Damson Park as they look to push on from the identical finish to Dave Challinor’s men last season. Solihull finished one place above Pools in 8th but both sides ended the campaign on 55 points.

The two teams have met six times in their history, both equally winning three of those".

Notts County "have completed the signing of Harrogate Town midfielder Tom Walker on loan until 3 January.

Walker joined the Yorkshire side this summer after scoring nine goals in 24 National League appearances while at Stockport County and AFC Fylde last season.

The 24-year-old, who hails from Salford, is a product of Bolton Wanderers’ academy and joins us having made 12 appearances for Harrogate so far in 2020-21."